This story was written by Prout and has been syndicated and edited by Popspoken.

Update: Section 377A was not included in the latest penal code review. A new petition has been launched to campaign for the repeal of Section 377A. It can be accessed here: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ready-for-repeal.html

India is a former colony of the British that is the latest to legalise gay sex, but Prout understands that a review of Singapore’s penal code has failed to revise the country’s anti-gay sex law.

This means Singapore remains the only developed country in the world to continue criminalising gay sex according to a CNN report, gaining company with 68 other countries such as Ghana, Malaysia and Syria. Notably, countries such as Indonesia and China are not in this list.

Prout also understands that several Singaporeans have received forwarded WhatsApp messages in their group chats telling them to campaign to local government officials to keep a law that criminalises consenting sex between two men in Singapore.

The move comes as a petition to keep the Penal Code law, Section 377A, has reached some 66,000 signatories as of press time.

“We do not think the vocal minority should impose their values and practice on the silent majority who are still largely conservative,” said the petition.

However, this goes against the reasoning that was recently granted by India’s courts in legalising gay sex — that “popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights”.

Singapore’s law and home affairs minister K Shanmugam countered the logic of the Indian courts, saying: “Can you impose viewpoints on a majority when it’s so closely related to a social value system?”

It is worth noting that only two men who perform sexual intercourse can be arrested under the law; women are allowed to have sex with each other and changing one’s gender marker is legal in Singapore.

Sexual orientation does not determine an arrest under Section 377A. If two straight men have sex with each other, they can be arrested.

Also, the law still remains in action despite government officials saying that it will not be enforced. This means that the government has carte blanche powers to arrest someone at their will.

“Citizens, whether homosexual or otherwise, must be able to live their lives with clear rules and boundaries—and not have look over their shoulders because of the fear of ‘political pushback’,” wrote veteran journalist Bertha Henson in a blog post responding to the murkiness of the law.

We will continue to update this space as more developments come along.


As India legalises gay sex, Singapore fails to review anti-gay sex law in penal code revision was originally published in @proutapp on Medium.

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