Singapore repeals colonial-era gay sex ban, doesn't legalise same-sex marriage

Published on Nov 29, 2022 04:14 PM IST

Singapore: The law, Section 377A, penalised sex between men with up to two years in jail, although the statute was not actively enforced.

Singapore: A participant of Pink Dot, an annual event organised in support of the LGBT community in Singapore.(Reuters)
Singapore: A participant of Pink Dot, an annual event organised in support of the LGBT community in Singapore.(Reuters)
AFP |

Singapore's parliament on Tuesday repealed a law criminalising sex between men, striking down colonial-era legislation that has long been criticised as discriminatory and stigmatising to the LGBTQ community.

The law, Section 377A, penalised sex between men with up to two years in jail, although the statute was not actively enforced.

"I am happy that it had finally happened," a member of the LGBTQ community who wanted to be known only by his first name Justin told AFP.

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"One less reason for me to hide my true self, because of some archaic law. But this is just the first step to remove the social and religious stigma that has been upon the community because of outdated beliefs, and media censorship."

Parliament, however, also amended the constitution to uphold the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, effectively blocking full marriage equality.

The moves follow several failed attempts to have the gay sex legislation repealed in the courts, with a panel of judges ruling in February that the law held symbolic weight but it could not be actively enforced.

Parliament voted 93 in favour of the repeal, with three against and no abstentions.

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