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Report of s377A Hearing at the Court of Appeal, Singapore
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 18:09

This article is written by Indulekshmi Rajeswari, one of our active contributors and original founders of Sayoni. She is a law graduate who is currently getting her qualification for the bar. She has been actively involved in the case since last year and is currently the only person on M Ravi's legal team.

Writer's note: As I am intimately involved with the case, it would not be appropriate of me to give my personal thoughts on the matter, especially since the judgment is not out yet. However, a factual account is still warranted.


27th Sept was a fairly historic day. For the very first time, the Court of Appeal in Singapore heard a case relating to sexual orientation. Judgment has been reserved till a later date.

 

The journey to get here has been long and filled with sleepless nights, but I personally am glad I sacrificed sleep (and some sanity).

 

Sayoni has reported on this legal saga that started last year, with M Ravi filing a constitutional challenge against s377A in the name of Tan Eng Hong, someone who was caught for public sex with another man and charged under s377A. The charge was later dropped and substituted with s294(a), concerning an obscene act in public. Subsequently, the AGC filed to strike out the constitutional challenge and eventually, the motion came all the way to the Court of Appeal.

 

The hearing today focused on whether the plaintiff (the Appellant in this case) had the right to even bring the challenge. Both sides had voluminous written arguments. The AGC team was lead by Chief Prosecutor Aedit Abdullah.  It must be noted that Aedit Abdullah is a well-respected Deputy Public Prosecutor who was a former Senior District Judge. He had three assisting counsel, including Teo Guan Siew, whose resume is also fairly impressive. The Appellant's team was led by M Ravi, who is known for having brought various constitutional challenges. At the time of this article, I was the sole person on his legal team.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2011 11:27
 
Concerns at UN Review of Singapore's Gender Equality
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by jean   
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 14:07

Concerns at UN Review of Singapore's Gender Equality

AWARE, the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (H.O.M.E.), Sayoni and the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) express concerns at the UN review of Singapore’s gender equality.


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From left: Vanessa Ho from Sayoni, IWRAW intern Kari Rotkin, Malathi Das from SCWO, Braema Mathi from AWARE, Jean Chong from Sayoni, Nadzirah Samsudin from AWARE, Kelly Then from Sayoni, and Laura Hwang from SCWO

 

1. Gender equality experts from the CEDAW Committee asked more than 100 questions during an intense, five-hour Constructive Dialogue with Singapore’s State delegation at the 49th CEDAW session on 22 July 2011, in the New York headquarters of the United Nations.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 October 2011 15:59
 
Our CEDAW journey - Oral Statement to CEDAW committee on the 18th of July
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:53

 

kelly_at_UN

 

Editor's note: This is the oral statement by Sayoni, delivered by Kelly, before the UN last week. Our team has completed their duties at CEDAW, and we await their return from New York so that we can congratulate them on a job well done.

 

Madam Chair,

I am from Sayoni and represent women in Singapore on sexual orientation and gender identity. The State has said that there is no discrimination against homosexuals in Singapore. Our research and experience show otherwise. The most pressing issues are:

In the Law

Legislation inherited from the British criminalises sexual intercourse between men. This criminalisation sets the stage and cascades. It condones discrimination against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, and it prevents equality of access, opportunities and outcomes for us in public policy.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2011 03:13
 
Our CEDAW journey - Journal 4
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by jean   
Monday, 25 July 2011 20:42

 

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There were tears when I contemplated on all the things we have done at the eve of the Singapore government's session with the CEDAW committee. They were not of sadness or regret but a crescendo of the many emotions that swept us daily throughout the last week.


We spoke about the victims of violence we know of and the silence that surrounds invisible women. Or the many gay men and women we know that lingers at the edge of existence. We tried to put a name to the shame and pain that tortures our community endlessly and the insistent ignorance of those who claimed that they understand but know nothing. And did nothing.


With determination flashing in her eyes Kelly quietly said to me, "We have to make this happen. We must." That was the deciding tone when we raced down the stairways and corridors in the United Nations every day.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2011 23:31
 
Our CEDAW journey - Journal 3
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by jean   
Friday, 22 July 2011 20:29

 

kelly_at_UN


We have had so little time to write about our CEDAW journey here due to the frantic pace. I believe if we try, most of our sentences will be incoherent anyway due to the fatigue level we’re experiencing.


But we soldier on. We are doing everything we can because so many people are depending on us to speak up for them. The joke between us is that we have only seen a two-block radius of New York between the hotel and the United Nations.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 01:13
 
Our CEDAW journey - Journal 2
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by jean   
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 09:53

 

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In this series, our CEDAW team over at UN will be sharing with our readers the journey they are undertaking, in order to present the Sayoni CEDAW Shadow Report. They have already presented their report before the CEDAW Committee, and are now awaiting the government's presentation to the Committee. You may read the Government's report here.

We had the most difficult flight while on the way to New York. With multiple wailing babies on a long flight, we were convinced it was the government’s way of torturing us for the audacity of writing a country shadow report in CEDAW highlighting the plight of sexual minority women.


People often asked us why we are always dreaming the impossible. There were criticisms on the effectiveness of this human rights treaty and that better focus should be put on grassroot movements. At the same time, there was also a tremendous amount of support from the community and international friends.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 01:16
 
Our CEDAW journey - Journal 1
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by Kelly   
Monday, 18 July 2011 20:49

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In this series, our CEDAW team over at UN will be sharing with our readers the journey they are undertaking, in order to present the Sayoni CEDAW Shadow Report  We wish all the luck to Jean, Kelly and Vanessa, for their presentation before the UN.

 

Sometimes, a little thing you start can take a life of its own. Sayoni's CEDAW project was one of those.


CEDAW is an international Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, for which States and NGOs make periodic reports about their countries. It is significant because it is one of only two international human rights treaty that Singapore has ratified and the State has asserted consistently that it would only ratify conventions that it is prepared to implement.


In 2008, AWARE started a series of workshops to prepare their CEDAW shadow report. Jean and I attended their training. Initially, we had planned to include our concerns as lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in AWARE's report. However, we later decided to prepare our own report in order to give the issues due prominence.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 01:15
 
Singapore LBT's concerns debut at United Nations review (CEDAW)
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by jean   
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 02:46

Media advisory


13 July 2011

 

Singaporean lesbian, bisexual and transgender women’s concerns debut at UN review

 

On 22 July 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will review Singapore’s progress with eliminating discrimination against women during the 49th CEDAW session at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The State of Singapore and Non-Governmental Organisations have submitted reports and during the session, will engage in dialogue with the Committee. The Committee will then make its Concluding Observations, which identifies areas of concern and makes recommendations for progress.

For the first time, the concerns of lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women are represented by Sayoni during this process. Sayoni will highlight prevalent and systematic discrimination against women based on sexual orientation and gender identity across social, cultural, political and economic spheres of Singapore.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2011 20:58
 
Sign the petition to protest discrimination in football
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Saturday, 25 June 2011 09:52

We would like to call on our readers to support this petition to protest the discrimination against lesbian football players: click here

 

the nigerian football coach

 

 

FIFA: Call Out this Foul Play

Even before the Women's World Cup kicks off this Sunday, June 26, the rules have already been broken. 

For the past two years the Nigerian Football Federation has conducted a witch-hunt to kick women off the national team who were suspected of being gay. And the team's coach just bragged to the New York Times that she has dealt with “the big problem” of lesbianism. 

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has a powerful record of fighting discrimination. Now as Nigeria takes the field in the Women's World Cup opening game, FIFA needs to give coach Uche the red card: publicly condemn systematic discrimination and take the necessary steps to end homophobia in the league.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 June 2011 09:56
 
Breaking News: s377A appeal fails at High Court (Singapore)
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Saturday, 19 March 2011 00:18

This is breaking news: no other news media outlet has reported this at the time of publishing. Sayoni is able to report this based on our own sources closely involved in the case. At the time of writing, the judgment has not been published in Singapore Law Review, or been reported on Singapore Law Watch. The citation of the case, for those interested, is Tan Eng Hong v Attorney General, [2011] SGHC 56. However, Sayoni has obtained a scanned copy of the judgment, which we are glad to attach for the perusal of our readers. Once it has been reported on the Singapore Law Watch, we will be glad to provide that link for our readers.

 

The High Court of Singapore has dismissed the appeal against the decision of the Registrar to strike out the constitutional challenge to s377A, lodged by Mr Tan Eng Hong. The challenge to s377A arose out of the arrest of Mr Tan Eng Hong and another man in a public toilet months ago, as we reported then. He was initially charged under s377A.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 March 2011 00:36
 
Woman pleads guilty to sex act on girl (Singapore)
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by Indu   
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 15:58

This news was first published on Channelnewasia.

Sayoni strongly condemns sex with minors, whether they be gay, straight or lesbian. 


Woman pleads guilty to sex act on girl

By Shaffiq Alkhatib | Posted: 16 March 2011 1434 hrs

 

SINGAPORE: A 22-year-old woman pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of performing a sexual act on an underage girl, in what's believed to be the first case of its kind in Singapore.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 09:29
 
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