Repeal of 377A won’t automatically change people’s minds
I refer to the letter “377A: Majority not always right” (March 7) and agree that the majority may not always be right.
A key tenet of democracy is majoritarianism, however, and the majority’s assent or support is necessary to effect sustainable social change.
As government leaders have reiterated, repealing Section 377A will not automatically change people’s minds about homosexuality.
What will create a more inclusive society for lesbian, gay, bisexual nd transgender (LGBT) people is mutual empathy.
To foster a more inclusive society, we must start by dispelling the misconceptions and fears of those who are ignorant or misinformed.
According to a study in Los Angeles, personal conversations that help people with different or opposing views grasp each other’s perspective is an effective way to reduce bias against LGBT people.
Researchers found that it was because these exchanges helped people with such prejudices to connect their personal experiences of prejudice with those faced by LGBT people.
By recognising that prejudice is the same wherever it is found, people were more inspired to combat it.
Ultimately, as our Prime Minister indicated, it is only when society has changed that 377A would be repealed, like in countries such as Thailand, Israel and Nepal, where homosexuality was decriminalised in 1956, 1988 and 2007, respectively.
We have built a harmonious society despite our racial and religious differences.
Let us continue to work on our country’s diversity with compassion and collective action, and foster a more inclusive society regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.