Asian country decriminalizes homosexual sex

Additionally, Singapore's definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman has been given legal protection.

During the city-National state's Day Rally on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on state television that while Singapore has abolished a contentious rule from the colonial era that prohibited gay sex, it will maintain its strong conservative values.

He added, "I believe this is the appropriate thing to do and something that the majority of Singaporeans would embrace," and expressed the hope that the action would bring "some solace to LGBT Singaporeans."

Singapore will, however, "guard the definition of marriage against being challenged constitutionally in the courts," the PM further pledged.

We believe that the traditional family should serve as the fundamental unit of society and that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. We also believe that children should be nurtured in such households.

Previously, Section 377A of the Penal Code threatened males with two years in prison if they were found engaging in "any act of gross indecency," which effectively referred to any homosexual behavior. The restriction, which is identical to legislation in other former British colonies in south Asia and only affects men, has not been enforced in decades, but it continues to cause concern for gay Singaporeans and upwardly mobile business people attempting to persuade global businesses to locate headquarters there.

The city-highest state's court said that since there was no enforcement, no one's constitutional rights were being violated if the law remained on the books. This declaration worked against protestors attempting to have the statute stricken down earlier this year.

Lee omitted to give the repeal's start date. Although he was confident that "most Singaporeans" would accept the news, a June Ipsos poll found that 44% of Singaporeans still favored the ban, down from 55% in 2018.

The acceptance of homosexuality has also encountered strong opposition from parts of Singapore's religious communities, notably Muslims, Catholics, and Protestants. Religious authorities have not endorsed this most recent action, though.

The prime minister insisted that "exercising restraint" was necessary for "all factions" if the country was to advance as a whole.

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