- Singapore Buddhist Federation
I am seeking to request for the Singapore Buddhist Federation (SBF) to represent the voice of the Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ community and to be more vocal about their rights as part of the Buddhist community in Singapore. I am also seeking to request the SBF to issue a statement on the Buddhist view and impact of the Section 377A. I will submit this petition to the Singapore Buddhist Federation by 28 Sep 2018.
I believe that the individual rights have been discriminated by the Singapore Law, in particular the Section 377A. I believe in the freedom of choice of religion but do not believe that the values of other religions should be unfairly impacting our individual rights as Buddhists. I do not believe that the rights of the Buddhist LGBTQ community has been represented sufficiently in a secular nation of Singapore.
Section 377A is a colonial law that criminalises consensual sex between men. In the past, Singaporeans have been charged, convicted, and punished under this law. Even if it is not actively enforced, the law still punishes our gay friends and relatives by signalling that what they do, and who they are, is condemnable and wrong.
On 13 Sep 2018, the National Council of Churches Singapore issued a statement on their stance to retain 377A. (https://nccs.org.sg/2018/09/nccs-statement-retain-377a/) The Buddhist stance on the 377A remains unclear.
If you believe that the rights of the Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ community has not be represented and are a Singaporean or a permanent resident of Singapore who personally knows of a Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ, or are a Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ yourself, I would like to appeal to you to sign this petition.
We, the undersigned Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, call on the Singapore Buddhist Federation to issue a statement to clarify the Buddhist view and impact of the section 377A of the Penal Code for the following reasons:-
1) None of the Buddhist text has any teaching that contravenes the practice of consensual sex by lay community regardless of gender.
2) Great teachers and leaders in the international Buddhist community, such as the Dalai Lama, have explicitly expressed support for the homosexual community and have condemned homophobia.
3) One of the 5 moral precepts of the lay community states that one should not lie. The section 377A creates fear and shame to Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ community. They are more likely to lie to avoid discrimination and resulting in them breaking the precept.
4) Based on Chapter 14, Verse 183 of the Dhammapada, the instructions of the Buddha were to avoid evil, do good and purify the mind. Section 377A does not serve any useful purpose without being enforced, and only has a detrimental effect on the Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ community.
5) We respect the individual freedom of choice in choosing a religion but do not believe that the values of other religions should be unfairly impacting our individual rights as Buddhists.
The National Council of Churches Singapore issued a statement on 13 Sep 2018 on their stance to retain 377A. (https://nccs.org.sg/2018/09/nccs-statement-retain-377a/) The Singapore Buddhist Federation has not made any such statements to represent the rights and voices of the Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ community who are directly impacted by this conversation.
The Stronger Representation for Singapore Buddhist LGBTQ Community petition to Singapore Buddhist Federation was written by Alvin Lim and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.