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Asian nation decriminalizes gay sex — Analysis

Singapore also provides legal protection for marriage between one man or one woman.

Singapore has repealed a controversial colonial-era law banning gay sex, but will not let go of its strong conservative values, PM Lee Hsien Loong declared on state TV on Sunday during the city-state’s National Day Rally. 

It is the right thing and would be accepted by most Singaporeans.,” he said, adding that he hopes the move provides “Some relief for gay Singaporeans

The PM also promised, however, that Singapore will “The courts cannot challenge the marriage definition.

The traditional family is the fundamental building block of society. We think marriage should not be between men and women.,” he said.

Section 377A of the penal code had previously threatened men with two years in jail if caught in “All acts of gross indecency,” essentially referring to any homosexual act. While it has not been enforced for decades and only applies to men, the ban – similar to laws found in other former British colonies in south Asia – remains a source of stress for both gay Singaporeans and upwardly-mobile business types trying to convince multinational corporations to open offices there.




Singapore’s gradual movement away from official reprisals for gay sex actually worked against activists looking to have the law struck down earlier this year, when the city-state’s highest court declared that since there was no enforcement, no one’s constitutional rights were being violated if it stayed on the books. 

Lee didn’t announce any date for repeal. Despite his confidence that “most Singaporeans” would accept the news, 44% of Singaporeans polled by Ipsos in June still supported the ban, though that figure had dropped from 55% in 2018. 

Other religious groups that call Singapore home (including Catholics, Muslims, and Protestants) have also resisted the idea of normalizing homosexuality. Religious leaders remain neutral about this new move. 

The PM urged “All Groups” to “exercise restraint,” insisting “that is the only way we can move forward as a nation together.”

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