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18 Apr 2013

Singapore gay couple to file appeal against 377A ruling; fundraising drive launched

Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee, plaintiffs in the recent S 377A constitutional challenge, will appeal the recent High Court judgment. Friends and supporters have launched a fundraising appeal to raise S$50,000 to help meet court costs.

A gay couple in Singapore, who had unsuccessfully petitioned the High Court to have the country's anti-gay sex law declared unconstitutional, will be appealing Justice Quentin Loh’s April 10 ruling.

In a statement issued today, lawyers for Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee will file a Notice of Appeal within the next three weeks. The couple is represented by lead counsel Peter Low, Choo Zheng Xi and Indulekshmi Rajeswari.


Gary Lim, 44, and Kenneth Chee, 37,
have been partners for 15 years.

“We believe that gay men should not have to go to jail for being who they are, and this is why we are appealing the decision,” said the couple, who have been together for 15 years. "Singapore is one of the few Asian countries that criminalises LGBT people and the existence of S 377A has a dampening effect on society. For example LGBT businesses and societies face unfair and often insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles in getting registered."

Low, of M/s Peter Low LLC, lead counsel for the case said: “The Judgment of the High Court upholds an archaic piece of colonial legislation which was enacted and retained with the dominant purpose of criminalising the sexual behaviour of consenting gay and bisexual adults, and continues to make criminals out of gay and bisexual men in loving relationships, even in the privacy of their own homes. In so doing, the High Court is essentially saying that such targeted discrimination is perfectly acceptable, despite the Equal Protection Clause enshrined in the Constitution. With the greatest of respect, this cannot be correct in law or logic. We have our client's instructions to appeal.”

Fundraising appeal to raise US$50,000
Friends and supporters have started a fundraising campaign to help meet court fees and procedural fees that the couple will need to pay as the case navigates the judicial system. The group hopes to raise US$50,000 in 60 days. As of press time, over US$8,000 has been raised from 40 contributors within the first few hours from the launch of the campaign on Indiegogo.

One of the supporters of the fundraising drive is Rev Yap Kim Hao, former bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore and Malaysia, who has been a long time advocate for gay men and lesbians in Singapore.

“The official teaching of the Methodist Church in Singapore did not declare homosexuality a sin until 2002, and the interpretation of the bible is always personally directed, time bound, historically determined and culturally conditioned. The sacred texts have been used to justify the teaching of the Church on political domination, racial discrimination, slavery and warfare, and we have seen this in recent christian condemnation of LGBT people.”

Yap added: “In light of Kenneth and Gary’s decision to appeal, I hope that moving forward, the Christian community will focus on love, compassion, understanding and harmony instead of hate, condemnation, contradictions and conflicts as we strive to live in unity in spite of our diversity."

To pledge your support, please go to igg.me/at/s377a.


Singapore

Reader's Comments

1. 2013-04-18 17:55  
How to assist in funds raising?? I hope all gay Singaporeans can get together to support these 2 brave men!!! We ow it to them....
2. 2013-04-18 18:03    
You can donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fundraising-for-s377a-constitutional-challenge
3. 2013-04-18 18:13  
Thanks realised after my last post...Contributed....Good luck guys!
4. 2013-04-18 18:17  
Just put US$50 on their effort!
5. 2013-04-18 18:19  
go go go!!!
6. 2013-04-18 18:27  
Not that this US$50,000 (~S$62,000) and not S$50,000 but they can only accept payments in US$.
7. 2013-04-18 18:50  
Way to go Gary and Kenneth! May the Force be with you! ;)
8. 2013-04-18 19:16  
Such a gorgeous video.
I wish you guys all the luck in the world :)
9. 2013-04-18 21:45  
Thanks for sharing this video to all of us. Hope u two guys could be lifelong partners~
Comment edited on 2013-04-18 21:46:40
10. 2013-04-18 23:45  
These guys are a great couple and example for others... Singapore claims to be such a progressive modern model for a city yet is totally backwards in this respect.. they need to realize what is truly important in life and society... it is LOVE! Hang in there guys!
11. 2013-04-19 00:09  
Maybe gays should boycott Singapore tourism until the government pulls its head out, and changes the law
12. 2013-04-19 00:16  
I think many already are....most of my friends from overseas won't even come!! They would rather meet me in either Thailand or Bali!
13. 2013-04-19 02:21  
I applaud this couple for putting there sexual orientation out there
in front of Singaporean society and the Judicial High Court. I have
visited Singapore 3 times since 1985. yes, since 1985 and have
seen the emergence of a growing gay community. That being said,
Boycotts will not only hurt the regular tourist industry but it impacts
negatively the gay establishments already there. Go, Spend your
money with these businesses and remember money can empower
this community.
it might be unheard of in Singapore known for its proper way of
doing things but a peaceful demonstration (sit in) like the Pink Dot
campaign you have , maybe the way to offer support.
14. 2013-04-19 08:09  
Bravo, boys, way to go!
15. 2013-04-19 08:41  
Fantastic video which deserves a TV screening.
Good luck guys. Change will come eventually, usually through small steps.
Singapore has some great gay people, some of whom I am proud to call friends.
16. 2013-04-19 09:31  
Thank you Gary & Kenneth! :)
17. 2013-04-19 10:52  
Admire your courage for something we often take for granted - being treated with equal respect as human beings. The LEAST I can do is to contribute.. so I have.

Whether we win or lose is immaterial - this is Singapore after all. I think its well worth every Sg'rean pink $ to continue putting this issue on the radar screen.

To cynics out there - we'll get there, but we need to start somewhere.


Cheers!
18. 2013-04-19 12:54  
Agree with them..even i don't have partner since in the past..but I am with you guys...I support on you....and someday i hope i can find also my LTR in here....i salute you for 15 years and now your fighting what's best..
Be still
19. 2013-04-19 12:54  
Agree with them..even i don't have partner since in the past..but I am with you guys...I support on you....and someday i hope i can find also my LTR in here....i salute you for 15 years and now your fighting what's best..
Be still
20. 2013-04-19 13:27  
They've hit their target, just to update everyone!
21. 2013-04-19 14:41  
These guys are amazingly brave and I wish them all the best to achieve their wish. Its fair and its just.
22. 2013-04-19 18:55  
If people in judicial authority say a law should be left to the parliament to decide, then what are these people paid for? That is the most utter piece of rubbish I have ever heard. Passing the buck!
23. 2013-04-20 01:47  
Finally, real men are coming out in Singapore! I hope EVERY GLBT's community and social event starting tomorrow's Two Queen's White Party, that there will be an announcement to collect proceeds towards Your representative of OUR appeal.

Together now, stand up, stand up for being Happy in Love. This is home surely where every family wants their members being loved and in love, legally and constitutionally respected. It's time the Govt and it's Justice system pave the nation's Renaissance period, starting by lifting its people's psyche up the altruistic way than the failed carrot & stick way.
Comment edited on 2013-04-22 00:12:13
24. 2013-04-20 02:25  
Wow! The last good news we had was Nic & Tim, also Singaporeans, who had a blessed wedding in Melbourne last year! Please keep up your struggles, Gary & Kenneth, we are with you, all in the way, victory will be yours! This is certainly the G revolution age!!
25. 2013-04-20 21:41  
I hope there will be similar support for Tan Eng Hong and his lawyer M Ravi when their time comes. They have been on this case much longer than Gary and Kenneth, doing what must be expensive work all pro bono - they deserve help. And it is solely M Ravi's efforts that allowed this couple to have standing to challenge the law in the first place.
26. 2013-04-21 18:14  
Way to go, boys! It's heartening to see the couple (of 15yrs and counting) coming forward to press basic human right for the gay community.

Just checked the website, it has gone far beyond the targeted 50k. Bravo! I am donating to the cause, nevertheless.
27. 2013-05-02 19:42  
all the world gay should support them

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