A three-hour long town hall meeting was held at the Singapore Expo convention centre on Jul. 23 morning to call for Section 377A of the Penal Code to be retained and marriage to be protected.
Event hired security
Mothership understands that the town hall was conducted under the Chatham House rules, in which participants are free to use the information they received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speakers could be revealed.
In addition, staff from Armour Security were present at the hall.
Attendees were also required to have large bags checked and left outside the hall before entering.
The crowd comprised of mostly middle-aged Singaporeans, as well as a few people who identified as former members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Mothership also understands that pamphlets were circulated, explaining the importance of marriage, the potential outcomes of repealing 377A, and the actions that should be taken in response.
Eventbrite pulled down event's listing
Both Wong and Khair alleged in their Facebook posts:
"Our event was oversubscribed, with hundreds on the waitlist despite attempts to cancel it – Eventbrite pulled our listing just 5 days before without letting us appeal."
They also highlighted:
"We’ve been relatively restrained in the face of an intolerant, vocal minority that seeks to overturn the order in all areas of society – be it marriage, education, businesses, or beliefs, while demonising all those who disagree as “bigots” or “haters,” instead of engaging us with good faith.
We will be silent no more."
The pair further called on the government not to repeal Section 377A until "adequate safeguards" for protecting marriage, families and "freedom of conscience" have been put in place, including the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman in the constitution.
Here are their Facebook posts in full:
The event came in the wake of several events and incidents related to the repeal of 377A and the LGBTQ+ community.
In February this year, the Court of Appeal, led by the Chief Justice, ruled that the law was retained, but cannot be used to prosecute two consenting male adults engaged in a sexual act in a private place.
On June 29, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam told the BBC that the government was in "deep consultations with stakeholders, including (the) LGBTQ+ community, as well as others".
Recently, a school counsellor at Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) was suspended after showing inaccurate content about the LGBTQ+ community at a sex education talk.
Top left photo via Jason Wong/Facebook, right photo by Mothership