Gay activists in Singapore uses crowd funding to fight anti-sodomy lawsTop Highlights, Around the World, Breaking News Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
In what is certainly a first for this nation-state, a group of dedicated gay activists are using the crowd funding site Indiegogo.com to raise funds to overturn the country’s anti-sodomy law. Singapore, which currently has an anti-sodomy law on the books which bans “acts of gross indecency” with another male, has made in clear in both its courts and its parliament that there is no appetite for changing the current law.
But the men and women behind the Indiegogo campaign see it differently. In the short time they have been online, the project –which aims to raise funds for a legal challenge to what is universally known in Singapore as 377A – has raised more than USD 84K, a whopping 50 percent increase from only a few days ago when they had already raised USD 54K. Moreover, the original goal of USD 50K was met within one day of coming online.
Unlike, Kickstarter, another popular crowd funding site, Indiegogo allows groups and individuals to raise money for causes. Indiegogo will collect four percent of all funds raised and charge three percent for credit card processing. So, if the activists raise the USD 150K they believe they will need to challenge 377A, Indiegogo will collect USD 10.5K.
But while the money is coming in fast and furious, the reality is that, unlike their neighbors to the East in Vietnam, Thailand and New Zealand (which recently legalized same-sex marriage), Singapore has fought back against any relaxation of anti-sodomy laws. After an appeal of the law, the courts returned the matter to the Singaporean Parliament which determined that by taking the law off the books, a byproduct of the colonial error, they would risk upsetting culturally conservative Singaporeans.
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