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If 377A is repealed, Catholic Church's concern is for marriage to remain between man and woman

If 377A is repealed, Catholic Church's concern is for marriage to remain between man and woman

File photo of wedding rings. (Photo: iStock/artisteer)

SINGAPORE: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore said on Sunday (Jul 31) that should Section 377A - a law that criminalises gay sex - be repealed, its concern is for marriage to remain between a man and a woman.

The Archdiocese's statement was released on its website in response to media queries on recent events regarding the safeguarding of marriage.

This comes after Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Saturday that the Government is looking at how it can safeguard the current legal position on marriage against challenges in the courts, while it considers the next steps for Section 377A of the Penal Code.

The authorities have had extensive discussions with religious leaders, grassroots leaders, Singaporeans from all walks of life, as well as representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups on 377A, he said.

It also comes after a Jul 23 gathering called the Protect Singapore Townhall, which called for the protection of families, marriages and children in relation to a possible repeal of Section 377A.

Police reports were made about the event, which was attended by 1,200 people, but the authorities said no action will be taken against the organisers as the gathering did not break any laws.

The Archdiocese on Sunday said that while the dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups should be respected, they too should respect the Church's rights to maintain its position on marriage and that the family unit comprises a father, mother and their children.

"The fruitfulness of marriage also necessitates that marriage must be open to procreation," it said.

"Should Section 377A of the Penal Code be repealed, our concern is for marriage between a man and a woman to remain the institution of nature that is safeguarded and even enshrined in the Constitution of the country as the natural structure of human society."

The Archdiocese said it supports the Government’s clear articulation of its position on marriage and is assured that Singapore is looking at safeguarding the current position of the law which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

"It is our hope that the safeguards on marriage and our freedom to proclaim and teach without fear or favour what we believe is recognised and maintained."

The Archdiocese added that the organisers and participants of the Protect Singapore Townhall are "individuals who have a right to speak up and defend marriage, so long as they are not denigrating of others".

Source: CNA/ic
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