The repeal of section 377A was hailed by LGBTQ+ rights groups as ‘a win for humanity’.
The city state of Singapore announced Sunday that it will decriminalize sex between men by repealing a colonial-era law, while at the same time protecting its traditional norms and marriage definition. At the annual National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he believes it is the “right thing to do now” since most Singaporeans will now accept it.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
Colonial-Era Law That Criminalise Sex Between Men
During British colonial rule in the 1930s, section 377A of the Penal Code was introduced. British rule over the island ended in 1963 when Singapore became a state of Malaysia. After becoming independent two years later, it retained the Penal Code, which made sex between men punishable by up to two years in prison.
Since 2007 when Parliament last debated whether to repeal Section 377A, its position was to keep the law but not enforce it. The law, however, is regarded as a burden and discriminates against gay men. Thousands of activists annually stage a rally in the city-state known as the “Pink Dot” in support of the LGBTQ community.
Thanks to LGBTQ community groups, constitutional challenge leaders, activists, allies and stakeholders who paved the way. Despite the progress made, let’s also remember the collective pain that the community has endured to reach this point. Not over yet. But we look forward to a better, more equitable, and more sustainable future. Majulah Singapura.