Nationwide protests against gay sex ban in Singapore

Singaporeans protest PRIDE

On 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India struck down the part of Section 377, a British-era provision, criminalizing consensual homosexual activities after lots of protests from all around the nation on this sensitive issue. This decision resulted in giving rights and freedom to members of the LGBTQ community to practice their sexuality without any prohibitions.

Now recently another Asian country, Singapore, is witnessing a wave of protests for decriminalizing gay sex. Singapore has had a colonial-era gay sex law according to which a man found to have committed an act of “gross indecency” with another man could be jailed for up to two years. However, this law isn’t applicable to lesbians.

The crowd at a Pink Dot event in Singapore. File photo: EPA-EFE

With time, Singapore has started getting rid of homophobia. According to a survey by The Institute of Policy Studies, opposition to gay marriage reduced to 60% from 74% in 2013.

The homosexual males of Singapore have been deprived of their basic rights for long and according to Bryan Choong, an activist.

They deserve the same respect and legal protection under the Constitution. Section 377A violates those fundamental constitutional protections.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has previously said that Singapore society “is not that liberal on these matters”.

A woman holds a rainbow flag at the Pink Dot event, Singapore’s annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

It is surprising to see that even now when maximum countries around the world have legalized same-sex marriage, there are still 70 countries where it is not legal; Singapore and Malaysia being one of them.

It’s an appreciable move by Singaporeans to protest to bring about a huge change in their country’s law system and scrap down one of its highly conservative laws.

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