A pre-colonial law which ciriminalizes sex between men was upheld by a Singaporean high court on Monday March 30.
The law which does not apply to lesbians was challenged by activists emboldened after India’s decision to scrap similar legislation in 2018.
Two lawyers who represented three men: Johnson Ong Ming, a disc jockey, Roy Tan Seng Kee, a retired general practitioner and Bryan Choong Chee Hoong, the former executive director of LGBT+ non-profit organization Oogachaga, argued that Section 377A, a rarely implemented law under which a man found to have committed an act of “gross indecency” with another man could be imprisoned for up to two years, is unconstitutional.
However Judge See Kee Oon who presided over the case, dismissed the three applications. He said;
“The High Court dismisses all three applications.
“Legislation remains important in reflecting public sentiment and beliefs. Non-enforcement of the law against consensual male homosexual activity in private did not make it redundant.”
Reacting to the judgement, Bryan Choong stated that he was disappointed by the ruling. He further disclosed that his eyes are firmly on the road ahead.
The judgement came after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed that the society in Singapore “is not that liberal on these matters”.
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