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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
 
Sign these Petitions!
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by Indu   
Thursday, 27 January 2011 11:01

Sayoni would like to urge all our readers to sign these two petitions on an urgent basis:

 

Allout - Save Namigadde Avaaz - Stop Corrective Rape

Brenda Namigadde at a Human Rights Day protest against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill in London, December 10, 2009.

Millicent Gaika, pictured above, was bound, strangled, and repeatedly raped in an attack last year.
Brenda Namigadde at a Human Rights Day protest against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill in London, December 10, 2009. "If I'm sent back I'll be tortured ... it's very dangerous for me.”

Millicent Gaika, pictured above, was bound, strangled, and repeatedly raped in an attack last year.

We just signed a petition to support Brenda Namigadde, a young Ugandan lesbian who is scheduled to be deported from the UK this Friday and sent back to the life-threatening persecution she fled from eight years ago.  
With memories of a home burned to the ground and the threat of the new Ugandan “Kill the Gays” laws looming, the situation for her could not be more desperate.
One thing could save Brenda: we know that with enough international attention the one U.K. politician who has the power to stay her departure, the UK Home Secretary, might be open to reversing the UK government's decision -- but we need to act fast.  Will you join me and sign this urgent petition before Friday to stop Brenda's removal -- it could very well save her life:
www.AllOut.org/Brenda

‘Corrective rape’, the vicious practice of raping lesbians to ‘cure’ their sexuality, is a crisis in South Africa. 

 

Millicent Gaika, pictured above, was bound, strangled, and repeatedly raped in an attack last year. But brave South African activists are risking their lives to ensure that Millicent’s case sparks change. Their appeal to the Minister of Justice has exploded to over 140,000 signatures, forcing him to respond on national television. 

 

If enough of us join in to amplify and escalate this campaign, we could help get urgent action to end 'corrective rape'. Let's call on President Zuma and the Minister of Justice to publicly condemn ‘corrective rape’, criminalise hate crimes, and lead a critical shift against rape and homophobia. Sign the petition now and share it with everyone.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 11:09
 
Gay MP? 'Her private life is her private life': MM Lee (Singapore)
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Monday, 24 January 2011 00:12

The article below was published by the Straits Times. Sayoni is proud of two of its actively contributing members, Irene and Olivia, for coming out publicly in mainstream media.

 

Gay MP? 'Her private life is her private life'

But society is not ready for such openness in Parliament: MM Lee

By Elgin Toh

 

Social mores at one time kept single women out of Parliament. The likes of Ms Penny Low and Ms Indranee Rajah, both sitting MPs and unmarried, prove that frontier has been breached.

 

Might gay people one day follow in their footsteps?

 

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has revealed that he has no problems with having homosexuals in Parliament.

 

The surprising comment came in an interview in which Mr Lee makes his most comprehensive statement on homosexuality to date. It was published in a new book about his beliefs, Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going. It is available at bookstores with DVD for $39.90.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 March 2011 11:58
 
Join YOH5!
Articles - Announcements
Written by sayoni   
Sunday, 23 January 2011 22:51
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 16:02
 
Top 5 Reasons You Should Join Sayoni Summer Camp '11
Articles - Sayoni Summer Camp
Written by Sayoni Summer Camp   
Saturday, 22 January 2011 16:54

 

ssc10_table

 

Sayoni Summer Camp '11 will be happening on Labour Day weekend, 29 Apr - 2 May 2011.

For those who are still considering whether to join us, we have asked previous campers what they have gained from the camp and put together the five reasons you should do so.

1. The Bonds Formed

Participants from both camps have formed lasting friendships that extended far beyond the three days they spent together. The camp's self-development workshops provide unique bonding opportunities so that women can grow together and learn about themselves and the community.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 16:03
 
Sayoni Summer Camp 2011
Articles - Sayoni Summer Camp
Written by Sayoni Summer Camp   
Friday, 14 January 2011 23:59

Sayoni's queer women's summer camp is back for its third year! This year our camp will be held during the long weekend of 30 April (Saturday) to 2nd May (Monday, a public holiday).

Interested in spending a long weekend in the company of interesting women? Do you enjoy guided workshops about topics close to our hearts? Games in a glittering pool with beautiful women? Or waking up to delicious breakfasts in a gorgeous beach resort with your newfound friends?

At our summer camp, you can have all this and more. SSC'11 has an exciting line-up of activities for the fresh campgoer or the returning cool camper.

 

More details can be found at http://www.sayoni.com/ssc11

Early Bird Special until 14 Feb. Reserve your place early to avoid missing out!


 

ssc11_poster
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 16:08
 
Sayoni Turns 5
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 23 December 2010 15:42
Come join us on Saturday, 8th January 2011 as we celebrate Sayoni turning 5.


SayoniParty


It will be a great night of fun, games and entertainment including the following:

* Sayoni Woman Of The Year Award

* Eligible Bachelorettes Date Auction

* Soft Launch of The Coming Out Guide

* Lucky draw with Top prize valued at $500

Register now by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/gEzZeh
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 January 2011 14:57
 
BE(e):Believe | Beloved | Beyond
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 25 November 2010 22:53

BE(e): Believe / Beloved / Beyond

Be(e): Believe | Beloved | Beyond


Financial and Legal
Be money smart and financially secure. Build a promising future. Learn about the instruments of
investments and how to accumulate wealth effectively. We will teach you simple ways to manage
loans and get out of debt. Understand about investment behavioural patterns. Know about the
medical and commercial laws that are essential to you.
Proudly brought to you by Sayoni-OCW and conducted by Teh Hooi Ling and Yong Mei Ling.

OC Women, in conjunction with Sayoni, presents a three-part series for queer women/women who love women.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 16:08
 
on books and being gay
Articles - Emotional & Physical Wellness
Written by jin   
Monday, 08 November 2010 23:39
Taking the MRT is good for my reading habit. I've finished 3 books in the past 1.5 months.

The most recent book was "They F*** You Up: How To Survive Family Life" by Oliver James. It is about how the first 6 years of our life are very important. The way we were cared for as infants and children shapes the majority of our personality, psychology and behaviour. Very little is genetic, according to the author. Even homosexuality, he says, has a huge "nurture" factor. At first when I read that I was angry. If you say it is nurture rather than nature, that would lead people to conclude that it can be changed. Also in the book he says that many disorders, such as schizophrenia, are greatly affected by our upbringing rather than by our genes. And this is supported by how many schizophrenics do not get better when prescribed drugs, but on the other hand benefit from the right therapy.

I felt that this was a dangerous way for the logic to flow, because those who seek to "cure" homosexuality will believe that it can be cured, since its origin is also "nurture". So I decided to write to the author. I checked online and found his website and his email address. I explained that there are still people around who believe that homosexuality is an illness and that it can be "cured", and these people might make that connection from the way the book is presented. And I was so impressed when he replied by email 10 minutes later. He thanked me for my feedback and said that while there are many traits, such as playfulness, which are shaped by our "nurture", no one would think that they need to be changed. He said that perhaps in the next edition of his book he should explicitly state that though homosexuality is heavily influenced by "nurture", that in no way means that it either can or should be changed. And he thanked me for alerting him to this.

I feel happier now that I know he is not a homophobe. It also makes me realise that I have always had a polarised view of the situation. In my head, there can only be two camps: if you are anti-gay, you believe that gay people were raised wrongly as children, and therefore you would think that reparative therapy works, and that supports your homophobic ideas. On the other hand, if you are pro-gay, you believe that homosexuality has a genetic cause, and you would not expect gay people to be able to change. Now I have a new perspective, that being gay could be environmentally influenced, such as is being artistic, or eloquent, or strong-willed, but that does not mean that you can change it. Saying that homosexuality is caused by "nurture" is not necessarily in itself an anti-gay statement.

Over the course of reading the book, I have developed the details of my new perspective. I have always known that you can't trust all the research you read. But I must have known that purely on a cerebral level, but not absorbed it on a visceral level. When confronted with the statement that "homosexuality is caused by upbringing", it conflicted with ideas that I had held dear for many years. I thought, "But what about all the research that says that homosexuality is inborn?" But as I thought about it more, I could not cite one example of fair unbiased research to support my ideas. Does not mean that there are none, it just means to me that I have not delved deeply enough into the subject to confidently and concretely answer that question. Which made me realise that I probably have been guilty of selectively believing only those facts convenient to me and in synch with my worldview.

So maybe the author is right and homosexuality is not entirely genetic in origin. And as I make that statement, I'm half afraid the gay community will hang me for heresy and treason. But I admit that the cause of homosexuality cannot be pinpointed easily. If you can't trust research, you can't trust books either. So, deviating from nature vs nurture, my third view is: The fact that I'm gay now might be because of genes or might be because of my childhood. But I think one factor that environment has fully controlled is: how I deal with my gayness. To borrow the phrase I read in another article, "genes load the gun but environment pulls the trigger". (The quote was regarding illnesses like obesity and diabetes, hence it sounds morbid.) But maybe it is the same with being gay: the way I was raised has made me aware enough and comfortable enough to realise and accept I am gay. Being born in this modern age also gives me the option to live as a gay person; if I'd been born 2000 years ago instead, I might have had no choice about marrying a man just to survive. And 2000 years ago if the concept of "gay" hadn't come about yet, having gay genes wouldn't make me a gay person, just some man's unsatisfied and unhappy wife.

So let's consider the possibility I might have turned out straight if I had different parents, a different childhood. But even then, so what? At this point in time, I know I'm gay, I can't go back and change the past. So there is only moving forward. The most important thing to remember is that gay people can't change their sexual orientation. Whether it is due to nature or nurture is secondary, being gay can still be viewed as a gift from God, He created our genes but He also chose our parents to be the ones who raised us. So what do we do with this gift, one of the many that God has given us?
Last Updated on Monday, 08 November 2010 23:44
 
On the prosecution of Mr Tan Eng Hong under Section 377A and the challenge to the law’s constitutionality
Articles - Activism
Written by sayoni   
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 23:44

People Like Us (PLU)'s official statement :

www.plu.sg

 

On 24 September 2010, Mr M Ravi, a lawyer acting for Mr Tan Eng Hong, initiated a constitutional challenge to Section 377A of the Penal Code. This is the law that makes “gross indecency” between two men a crime in Singapore, punishable with up to two years’ imprisonment.

 

Mr Tan had been charged under Section 377A in connection with an alleged incident of sex in a shopping centre toilet.

 

People Like Us is not a party to this case and the associated constitutional challenge that Mr Ravi initiated. Moreover, as the matter is now before the courts, it is not appropriate for us to make any comments about the specifics of the case.

 

That said, People Like Us do not condone sex in public spaces where conflict with other members of society can occur. At no time do we say that these should not be prosecutable offences. We have however long held the view that should the State wish to prosecute, it should do so using gender-neutral laws, so that whether the specifics are same-sex or opposite-sex, there is parity in treatment.

 

It so happens that there is such a law — Section 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act. This law makes “indecent behaviour” in public an offence and is written in a gender-neutral way. It is regrettable that prosecutors have chosen to use Section 377A instead of this one, especially since the penalties are dissimilar. Section 377A mandates a prison sentence, but Section 20 gives the judge a choice of imposing a fine of up to $1,000, or a prison sentence of up to one month, or both, for the first offence.

 

Given the disparity in penalties, any decision to use Section 377A precipitates discriminatory treatment, and it is for this reason that People Like Us consider it an inappropriate law to use. Section 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (public Order and Nuisance) Act being available, it is hard to understand why prosecutors are still choosing to use Section 377A; or what beliefs underlie the decision to perpetuate the use of this law.

 

Furthermore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared in October 2007 that Section 377A will not be “proactively enforced”. The current prosecution of Mr Tan raises questions about what the Prime Minister meant when he said that. Even if the State does not actively seek out men who have sex with men to prosecute but rely instead on private security guards to report, such an argument ignores two important facts:

 

1. the State has discretion whether to charge them under Section 377A or another law;

 

2. the continued existence of Section 377A legitimises homophobia and the private vigilantism of security guards, who then take it upon themselves to do the proactive work that the State says it does not do.

 

Mr Tan should not have had to face a charge of Section 377A. Better yet, the government should take immediate steps towards legislative repeal. In the meantime, the Prime Minister’s October 2007 promise not to proactively enforce this law should be honoured through a total moratorium.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 January 2011 14:59
 
What concerns LGBT voters in Singapore?
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by jean   
Thursday, 09 September 2010 00:41

LGBT voters

 

Do lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters have exactly the same concerns as the general public? Are there concerns that are important to the community, yet are neglected by political parties vying for votes?

A general election is widely expected in Singapore sometime in the next 6 - 12 months. LGBT citizens will have as much a chance to express their wishes through their vote as other citizens.

A cursory glance at various media will indicate that leading issues currently include the economy, housing prices and polices, transport, foreign workers and immigration. These tend to hog the headlines because many people have anxieties or strong views about them.

There is, however, the risk that these issues, because of their wide following, are crowding out the concerns of other sections of the population. There is always the tendency for the non-LGBT majority to universalise their concerns as everybody’s concerns, and to dismiss issues unimportant to them as issues unimportant to everybody. Throughout history, it is a common conceit of the privileged or the majority.

What People Like Us would like to know is to what extent Singaporean LGBT voters share these aforementioned concerns, as well as what other concerns relevant to their lives they might have. What are their priorities going into this election?

We encourage all Singaporean LGBT voters and friends to participate in a survey: What concerns LGBT voters? It’s an online, anonymous survey, to gauge the community’s priorities. It consists of only 10 questions and should take no more than 3 -4 minutes of your time.


The survey will be kept open till at least 10 October 2010.


We recognise that no online poll can be rigourously accurate. Nonetheless, we are hoping that with wide participation, the thrust of the LGBT community’s concerns will be apparent even if the exact figures should be treated with caution.


Results will be publicised on this site and shared with other LGBT and mainstream media, after we have done an analysis.

To go to the survey: Link or http://www.plu.sg/society/

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 January 2011 16:55
 
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