Singapore to decriminalize sex between men, but retain traditional definition of marriage

O primeiro-ministro de Singapura, Lee Hsien Loong, nos EUA em maio
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the US in May| Photo: EFE/EPA/Yuri Gripas

Singapore will decriminalize sex between men, but does not intend to change its traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman, the prime minister said. Minister Lee Hsien Loong, this Sunday (). In his annual National Day speech, Lee said Singapore’s society is becoming more gay-friendly. “I believe this is the right thing to do, and something that most Singaporeans will now accept,” he said.

The announcement concerns the revocation of the Section 377A of the city-state penal code. Although colonial legislation criminalizes sex between men, with a penalty of up to two years in prison, the law has not been actively applied. According to the Reuters news agency, there have been no known convictions for consensual sex between adult men for decades in Singapore and the law does not provide for sex between women or other genders.

The Prime Minister stressed that Singapore “will protect the definition of marriage from being constitutionally challenged in the courts”, which “will help to repeal the Section 214A in a controlled and carefully considered manner”. “We believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that children should be raised within such families, that the traditional family should form the basic foundation of society,” Lee emphasized.

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