• Human Rights Watch

Singapore Repeals Law Making Consensual Sex Acts Between Men Illegal

August 22, 2022

[Image Source: © 2022 ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Cited article by Elaine Pearson and Graeme Reid, Human Rights Watch


HRRC celebrates Singapore's repealing of the law criminalizing gay sex. However, the Prime Minister's statements to prevent changes to the current definition of marriage will allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals to continue. The Prime Minister must commit to treating all citizens of Singapore as equal with equal rights.


Article Summary


Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the government will be repealing a law which criminalized gay sex. Section 377A of the criminal code written in this law was a holdover from British colonialism implemented in 1938. Only as of February 2022 did the Singapore Court of Appeal rule that the law couldn't be used to prosecute consenting partners engaging in the activities in private.


The move to repeal the law will hopefully lead to addressing the discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in the country. However, while the government plans to repeal the law, Minister Lee stated that constitutional amendments would prevent challenges to the current definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. A coalition of 23 Singaporean NGO's stated, "Any move by the government to introduce further legislation or constitutional amendments that signal LGBTQ+ people as unequal citizens is disappointing.”