Singaporeans Won't Be Punished For Having Gay Sex, According to Minister



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Singaporeans Won't Be Punished For Having Gay Sex, According to Minister


If you happen to be identified as a part of the rainbow flag community in Singapore, you're in for a confusing ride. 

In a scathing interview with BBC's Stephen Sackur as part of their BBC's HardTalk segment, K. Shanmugam, Singapore Minister for Home Affairs  and Minister for Law was asked to comment on the fact that in Singapore, "homosexuality is still defined as a criminal act."

To this, he reiterated that despite a colonial-era legislation declaring homosexual behaviour to be unlawful and punishable, those who engage in gay sex won't be susceptible to punishment in the nation.  

In spite of an outdated legislation that makes homosexual acts illegal, Shanmugam responded to the topic about gay sex prosecution by stating that the country's current policy is that "gay sex will not be punished."

According to Singapore's penal code, Section 377A, acts of gross indecency (or attempts) between men are punishable by up to two years in prison. To date, many rights and pride organisations in the nation have called for the repeal and elimination of this particular rule.

The administration, however, has failed to heed the public's clamour and instead has done nothing to comply.  

"A significant proportion of our population, the middle ground as it were, don't want that law repealed," he said. "Attitudes are shifting somewhat, but still, governments, the Singapore government cannot ignore those views."

Elaborating further, K. Shanmugam explained, "So, we have arrived at this sort of messy compromise, the last 15 years and we have taken this path because these issues are difficult. They are not easily settled."

"...and we have made clear, LGBTQ+ individuals are entitled to live peacefully without being attacked or threatened. We have in fact laws that protect the community."  

Despite "changing sentiments," a sizable portion of the population in Singapore continues to hold the opposite opinion, which is why the law is yet to be overturned, he concluded. 

What do you think of this law? Share with us in the comment section! 

Singapore K. Shanmugam homosexuals homosexuality gay rights criminal act sex illegal Minister for home Affairs law


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