Singapore to decriminalize sex between men

Singapore to decriminalize sex between men

Singapore will eliminate the criminalization of sex between men established in its penal code and which carries penalties of up to two years in prison, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Sunday.

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"I think it's the right thing to do, and something that most Singaporeans are going to accept...Although we remain a largely conservative society, gay people are now more accepted in Singapore, especially among younger Singaporeans," he said. Prime Minister during a televised speech.

Lee did not specify when exactly the repeal of section 377A of Singapore's penal code, which punishes men who commit "any outrage against public morals" with another man, will take place, without mentioning relationships between women.

Inherited from the British colonial period, the LGTBI community in Singapore has been fighting for its repeal for years, more vigorously since India, where it also existed, did so in 2018.

Unconstitutionality and marriage

Although it is hardly applied, the demands of unconstitutionality filed so far had been rejected and the Government's position was until now that the island society was not yet "ready" for its revocation.

Last February, a Singapore court rejected a request for unconstitutionality on section 377A and argued that there is "no threat" that it will be applied. The announcement comes 15 years after Parliament last debated Section 377A in 2007, when it decided the law would stay but not be actively enforced.

Despite the fact that it represents an advance in the claims of the LGTBI group in Singapore, the prime minister assured that the Government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage and it will continue to be between a man and a woman. "According to the law, only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized in Singapore," the prime minister said forcefully.

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