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Singapore High Court Upholds Sodomy Law

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Singapore - google mapsSingapore’s High Court upheld the country’s sodomy law yesterday.

Towleroad.com reports:

The law, known as Section 377a, has been in place since Singapore was a British colony. It carries up to a two-year jail term for men who commit acts of “gross indecency” with other men, whether in public or in private. Yesterday’s ruling came in response to lawsuits by couple of 16 years Gary Lim [above right] and Kenneth Chee [above left], and by Tan Eng Hong, who was charged under the anti-sodomy law after being arrested while having sex in a public restroom in 2010. Both lawsuits argued that Section 377a infringes their constitutional right to equal protection under Article 12 of the Constitution, and violates their right to life and liberty, as guaranteed by Article 9.

It’s a huge blow to LGBT rights in the country, especially since the government has refused to repeal the law.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Image via Google Maps

Singapore: High Court Upholds Sodomy Ban

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Singapore - google maps

from Google Maps

Singapore’s high court just upheld a ban on gay sex in the country.

LGBT Weekly reports:

Singapore High Court Justice Quentin Loh today released a judgment in the Constitutional challenge of statute 377A of the Singapore Penal Code, upholding the law which criminalizes sex between men and provides a jail term of up to two years. In a 54-page judgment, Justice Loh has “found that the statute has not infringed the rights of the plaintiff, Tan Eng Hong, and is not inconsistent with Articles 9 and 12 of the Constitution of Singapore, which ensures that one will not be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law and that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law, respectively,” according to a media statement issued by Tan’s lawyer, M Ravi.

You know your country is a long way away from marriage equality when they refuse to recognize your basic right to privacy.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Singapore: Only 21% Favor Marriage Equality, New Poll Says

Monday, August 26th, 2013

titleA new survey out of Singapore paints a picture of a very homophobic country.

Gay Star News reports:

The survey found 37% of those surveyed said they rejected ‘gay lifestyles,’ while 27% felt neutral on the issue. Only 26% said they were accepting of a ‘gay lifestyle.’ On the issue of same-sex marriage Singaporeans were even less supportive, with 55% opposed and only 21% in favor of them.

It looks like Singapore has a long way to go for full marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Singapore: Gay Couple Appeals Ruling on Sodomy Law

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Singapore - google maps

from Google Maps

A gay couple in Singapore is appealing a court ruling on the country’s sodomy law that went against them. LGBT Weekly reports:

Lim and Chee are armed with two of the brightest legal minds as they gear up for their appeal. The couple has appointed Senior Counsel Deborah Barker who is a partner and head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution, at Khattar Wong LLP, one of Singapore’s leading law firms. They have also retained Queen’s Counsel Lord Peter Goldsmith to argue the appeal as co-counsel with Barker, although his application to argue the case in Singapore is still pending.

The previous court found it entirely reasonable to discriminate: “anal and oral sex in private between a consenting man and a consenting woman (both aged 16 and above) was acceptable, but the same conduct was repugnant and offensive when carried out between two men even if both men were consenting parties.” Wow – at least most places technically enforce such bans for everyone. Ouch.

Singapore: Gay Couple Uses Kickstarter to Fund Repeal of Sodomy Law

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Singapore - google maps

from Google Maps

A gay couple in Singapore is fighting to decriminalize gay sex. LGBT Weekly reports:

In the short time they have been online, the project -which aims to raise funds for a legal challenge to what is universally known in Singapore as 377A – has raised more than USD 84K, a whopping 50 percent increase from only a few days ago when they had already raised USD 54K. Moreover, the original goal of USD 50K was met within one day of coming online. Unlike, Kickstarter, another popular crowd funding site, Indiegogo allows groups and individuals to raise money for causes. Indiegogo will collect four percent of all funds raised and charge three percent for credit card processing. So, if the activists raise the USD 150K they believe they will need to challenge 377A, Indiegogo will collect USD 10.5K.

The government has show no interest in repealing this abhorrent law, but maybe this effort will finally gain some traction.

Singapore: High Court Won’t Review Ban on Gay Sex

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Singapore - google maps

from Google Maps

Sex between consenting adults of the same sex will remain illegal for now after Singapore’s High Court rejected a challenge to the law. Pink News reports:

AFP reports the court, which is part of the Supreme Court, said it was up to parliament to repeal a provision in the penal code known as Section 377A – the legality of which has been questioned by a gay couple. On Tuesday, Judge Quentin Loh said: “The issue in the present case no doubt is challenging and important, but it is not one which, in my view, justifies heavy-handed judicial intervention ahead of democratic change”.

To date, the legislature has shown no interest in taking up the issue, and the Prime Minister is perfectly happy with the ban, too.

Singapore: Lawsuit Challenges Anti Gay Law

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Two cases working their ways through the Singapore court system deal with the country’s law against gays. Dot429 reports:

M. Ravi is arguing against Attorney General Aedit Abdullah in the highest court in the country that the law against gays, known as s377a, is unconstitutional. M. Ravi’s case is based on two principles within the Singaporean Constitution: that no person shall be deprived of “personal liberty before the law” and “all people are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection.” The Attorney General’s case however, rests on the ‘public morality’ clause in the constitution that argues that because the majority of Singaporeans view gay people as being “immoral,” laws to suppress homosexuality are therefore constitutional.

The judge is set to rule on both cases sometime in the next several weeks.

Singapore: Law Minister Plans to Keep Anti-Gay Law

Monday, February 18th, 2013

The tightly-buttoned-down country of Singapore is standing strong in its refusal to repeal an anti-sodomy law that unfairly targets gay citizens, its law minister said. Gay Star News reports:

Singapore will not repeal the anti-sodomy laws that criminalizes gay sex, affirmed Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, Singapore’s law minister, to an influential Christian group. According to the reports from LoveSingapore’s Facebook page, a group network of 100 churches, the minister attended a meeting with its leaders to discuss LGBT rights today (18 February). The meeting came at the request of Lawrence Khong, leader of LoveSingapore, following Shanmugam’s meeting with lesbian group Sayoni. Khong, who previously stated that repealing the law is a ‘looming threat’, said the meeting was about ‘defending the moral future of our nation’.

This follows hot on the heels of a gay couple’s lawsuit against the law.

Singapore: Gay Couple Fights to Overturn Ban on Gay Sex

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

In one of two gay-rights cases working its way through Singapore’s justice system, a gay couple is suing to overturn the country’s ban on homosexual acts. Edge Boston reports:

Peter Low and Choo Zheng Xi, the lawyers representing Lim and Chee, said the couple hopes to have the law banning gay sex declared unconstitutional. Singapore law criminalizes sex between mutually consenting adult men, and offenders can be jailed for up to two years.

In a related case, another Singaporean is suing his employer for anti-gay harassment:

On Monday, Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San, a former manager at Robinsons department store, filed a lawsuit claiming his former boss had harassed him into leaving his job because he did not agree with his homosexuality. Robinsons denied any “biasness,” ”unfair treatment” or “persecution” by anyone at the store, or that Wee faced “difficulties” or “threats” when he wanted to leave the company

Singapore: Prime Minister Says “We’ll Just Leave” Anti Gay Law in Place

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Gay Star News reports that Singapore’s not likely to remove its anti-gay laws any time soon:

A delegate at the Institute of Policy Studies’ Singapore Perspectives conference yesterday asked why a secular country like Singapore has ‘an old and archaic law that nearly discriminates against a whole [group] of people’. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong responded that in countries that do not criminalize homosexuality ‘the struggles don’t end’, Singapore’s Today newspaper reports. ‘Why is that law on the books?’ Lee said. ‘Because it’s always been there and I think we just leave it.’

So if you give those pesky gays an inch, they’ll take a mile, right?