Gay sex to be legalised in Singapore

Image - LGBT Singapore: Maxim Studio/shutterstock

After persistent appeals from LGBT activists, Singapore is eventually set to repeal section 377A of the penal code, which will allow gay sex and effectively legalise homosexuality in the city-state. 

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the decision to repeal the section on national TV which has been in place since January 1862. The penal code was inherited from the British and Singapore chosen to maintain it after it gained independence in 1965. 

However, there are inconsistencies in Singapore’s treatment of the LGBT community as whilst the city-state has a thriving LGBT scene with visible gay nightclubs,  any content which could be seen as “promoting homosexuality” is liable to be banned from broadcast. 

Nevertheless, surveys carried out in Singapore show growing support for LGBT rights, as reported by bbc.co.uk

The repeal will make Singapore the latest place in Asia to adopt progressive LGBT policy, after India, Taiwan and Thailand, however gay marriage is still illegal in Thailand, whereas Taiwan was the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in 2019. 

Prior to Mr Lee’s announcement, the government was prepared to maintain 377A but not to enforce it. However, last Sunday he confirmed his belief in the abolition of the law as “the right thing to do, and something that most Singaporeans will accept.” 

Mr Lee expressed the importance of bringing Singapore’s laws in line with “current social mores”. He also hopes that by repealing 377A, he will be able to “bring some relief to gay Singaporeans”. 


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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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