Singapore to end colonial-era ban on sex between men

Singapore to end colonial-era ban on sex between men
Carl Samson
August 22, 2022
Men in Singapore can soon legally have sex with other men as the Southeast Asian city-state announces its plan to repeal a colonial era law criminalizing the act.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the long-awaited move in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday, saying he hopes it provides “some relief to gay Singaporeans.”
“The government will repeal Section 377A and decriminalize sex between men. I believe this is the right thing to do and something that Singaporeans will accept,” Lee said.
Singapore chose to retain Section 377A after winning its independence from Great Britain in 1965. For decades, the law, which sentences convicts for up to two years, has been a lightning rod for gay activists.
But there have been no known convictions for decades. Additionally, the law does not criminalize sex between women and other genders.
While the repeal was planned and expected, Lee assured the public that “we will uphold and safeguard the institution of marriage.” This means marriage in the country remains reserved between a man and a woman.
It’s unclear when exactly the law will be repealed, but members of the local gay community welcomed the change nonetheless.
“We finally did it, and we’re ecstatic that this discriminatory, antiquated law is finally going to be off the books,” Johnson Ong, an activist, told the BBC. “There’s a sense that maybe it took a little too long, but it had to happen, you know. Today we are very, very happy.”
However, others believe it is not enough.
“It’s just a small, little step. But beyond that, if you’re going to have a family or you want marriage and want to be in Singapore and to be treated equally, that’s not going to happen,” Andre Ling, who is married to an Australian man, told Reuters. “By coming to Singapore, we knew that our marriage certificate will be like a piece of toilet paper.”
In a joint statement, 22 LGBTQ-plus organizations acknowledged the repeal as the “first step on a long road towards full equality.”
“Our immediate priorities in the wake of S377A will be to tackle the areas of discrimination that we continue to face at home, in schools, workplaces, and in housing and health systems,” the statement said.
 
Share this Article
NextShark.com
© 2024 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.