Singapore high court upholds gay sex ban

LGBTs remain criminals in one of Asia’s most conservative countries

Singapore’s High Court today rejected a legal challenge to decriminalise homosexuality. The challenge was filed by three gay citizens.

Peter Tatchell, LGBT+ campaigner and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, commented:

“This ruling reaffirms that gay men in Singapore remain criminals. It is a clear violation of the right to privacy, equal treatment and individual freedom, and is contrary to international human rights principles.

“Singapore is a member of the Commonwealth and signed the Commonwealth Charter which pledges ‘equality…for all without discrimination on any grounds.’

“Singapore’s anti-gay law was originally imposed by Britain in the nineteenth century, during the colonial era. Similar British-imposed laws exist in half of the nearly 70 countries that continue to outlaw same-sex relations. They are the poisonous legacy of colonialism.

“Ending the criminalisation of homosexuality would have been a huge step forward but there would have remained huge challenges to end the stigma, discrimination and hate crime that LGBTs suffer in Singapore – and other parts of Asia,” said Mr Tatchell.

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