Key Minister Lee Hsien Loong answered a concern from the audience with regards to the latest legalisation of exact same-intercourse marriage in the United states and its relevance to Singapore in the course of the Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia Community Lecture Series held in Singapore on thirty June 2015.
“Q: Thank you, Mr Lee. So above the weekend the exact same intercourse marriage was legalised in the United States. Successfully nine citizens redefined marriage on behalf of hundreds of thousands of their friends, a lot of of whom were being opposed to the plan of exact same intercourse marriage. What is your check out on the appropriateness of judges’ views overriding thoroughly-passed regulations? Do you feel a political or judicial remedy is far better to address this kind of a thorny difficulty specifically for international locations like Singapore? Thank you.
PM: Nicely, this is the way the American technique works. They have made the Supreme Court. It is nine adult males and the nine adult males make a decision critical troubles and in this situation, it was 5 to four. So basically one particular gentleman determined the difficulty. But that is their technique. They will not say that they produced a decision on the difficulty, they will say that they interpreted the Structure in its correct perception and this is what the US Structure has often meant. That is the way there. I am not a legislation professor but I feel that is the way they explain their lawful technique. It is how they resolve social, political, financial, racial, all sorts of critical troubles. Congress, the Parliament does not have the past word. It goes to the Supreme Court. Issues like abortion, points like racial discriminations, medicine, all sorts of points go to the Supreme Court.
It is not our technique. In our technique, the Parliament decides, the Govt by the Parliament, requires the guide, legislates and legislates on behalf of the populace. On an difficulty like LGBT the place there are quite potent views in the society, I feel the legislature has to act quite cautiously. You can go a legislation but will it be accepted? Will it be revered? Will individuals come to feel that it is genuine? I feel that we have to have a fantastic perception of the ground, a fantastic perception of how individuals come to feel and reflect the values and the attitudes of the populace or alternatively than check out to impose your have on them. Even in America, there are individuals who come to feel like that. I signify there are 40 percent of Us citizens who are opposed to exact same intercourse marriage and they say “well you determined this but I do not like this. I have to accept it but it is not my preference.” In Singapore, we have various legislative preparations. We have a a lot extra cautious technique in direction of social troubles. On LGBT troubles, I have mentioned my posture. It is one particular the place we shift meticulously due to the fact it is seriously a conservative populace and I feel we let the views evolve with time. The populace has to make a decision collectively alternatively than the government make a decision that I am going to go one particular way or the other.”
The total transcript of the dialogue is accessible on the Key Minister’s Workplace (PMO) internet site at: