Main | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SINGAPORE: Court Upholds Sodomy Law

Via the Straits Times:
The highest court in Singapore has upheld Section 377A of the Penal Code, the law that criminalises sex between men, rejecting arguments that the provision contravenes the Constitution. In ruling that the provision is constitutional, the three-judge Court of Appeal on Wedesday rejected two separate challenges to strike down the law. Gay couple Gary Lim, 46, and Kenneth Chee, 38, as well as 51-year-old Tan Eng Hong, contend that the provision is discriminatory and should be declared void by the court.

Their argument is that Section 377A infringes their right to equal protection under the law, as guaranteed by Article 12 of the Constitution, and violates their right to life and liberty, as guaranteed by Article 9. The offence carries up to a two-year jail term for men who, in public or private, commit acts of "gross indecency" with other men. Mr Tan was the first to file a challenge against the statute in 2010 after he was charged with having oral sex with another man in a public toilet. Mr Lim and Mr Chee later filed their own challenge.
The law has been on the books since Singapore was a British colony. The photo above is from Singapore's annual Pink Dot event, which advocates for LGBT rights.

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