I read in Yahoo! News Singapore earlier today that there is a fundraising thing going on for Kenneth Chee and Gary Lim. That’s the outstandingly brave couple of 15 years who last November filed a legal challenge in the High Court against a law, Section 377A of the Penal Code, that criminalises sex between men.
The High Court ruled earlier this month that the law still stands. Kenneth and Gary have decided to move forward and file an appeal. The Yahoo! article states that ‘the Court of Appeal is the highest court in Singapore, and its decisions are final‘, and that:
Mr Peter Low, lead counsel for the case, said in a media statement on Thursday, “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… With the greatest of respect, this cannot be correct in law or logic. We have our client’s instructions to appeal.”
The team behind the fundraising for the appeal states on the campaign page that:
The cost of mounting a constitutional challenge adds up to a substantial figure. As friends of the couple, we are helping by raising funds for their legal challenge and seeing them through this long and difficult journey.
We are members and allies of Singapore’s LGBT community who are deeply moved by the couple’s courage. Among us are individuals who are straight and gay, and we do not believe a person should be fearful of being imprisoned because of his sexual orientation.
Gary and Kenneth have bravely stood forward on behalf of all LGBT people in Singapore. Let us come together and show the couple our support.
The funds to be raised is targeted at US$150,000. When I last visited at 8pm of Saturday 20th April, it had already crossed over the halfway mark at a collection of $76,817, and this with 58 more days to go. The campaign page stated that “In the event that fundraising is in excess of the expenses of the constitutional challenge, surplus funds raised online will be donated to LGBT-related causes in Singapore.”, so it would be great if that’s the case.
I think it’s great there’s this campaign going on, allowing us folks, gay bi straight trans or whatever, to participate even in a very small way. These two heroes are fighting for the rest of us. I don’t know what various tribulation they are going through for this, not just financially but in their personal and professional life. I can’t begin to imagine.
Of course I hope they succeed in their appeal to overturn the anti-gay law. But at the same time they are already winners in my eyes, regardless of the outcome of the appeal. They can already look in the mirror and hold their heads up high.
For the campaign’s page at Indiegogo.com, click here.