The 168-page book authored by Lynette Chua and called “Mobilizing Gay Singapore” was released May 14, according to themalaymailonline.com.
The book deals with legal restrictions and political norms that affect the LGBT community as well as recounts how members organize themselves and engage in the state. It also tells the story of the first public gay rally Pink Dot in 2009 in Singapore where same-sex relations are illegal.
Pink Dot is a milestone for the local LGBT movement because it is Singapore’s only legal way to allow community members to celebrate who they are.
“Mobilizing Gay Singapore” is based on in-depth interviews with local gay activists and government statements and media reports on the issue and looks at the LGBT movement’s emergence, development and strategies, and how the roles of law and rights play out in the process.
National University of Singapore’s associate law professor Chua told TODAY at the book launch that the university’s Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the Faculty of Law said the book is aimed at trying to understand the social-legal history of the LGBT movement.
The book, she said, could impact activists regarding their roles and could be a source of information for those who are not knowledgeable about the movement.
She pointed out that the book was written in her personal capacity as a social-legal scholar and does not represent NUS’ views.
Singapore retains a British colonial-era “Section 377A” law that criminalizes sex between men with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.
There have been various calls for Section 377A to be repealed in recent years and the issue of repealing or retaining it has also been brought up in Parliament in recent years.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has repeatedly stressed that the government doesn’t discriminate against LGBT residents – though it declined to repeal the law banning sex between men.