Channel NewsAsia reports:
SINGAPORE — The nation’s highest court on Wednesday Oct 29 ruled that a law that criminalises sex between men is constitutional.
The ruling covers both cases contesting the law, one brought by two graphic designers who have been in a relationship for 16 years, and the other by an artistic therapist who had been arrested for a sexual act committed in a toilet. …
The judges found that Section 377A of the Penal Code [which provides for up to two years in prison for physical intimacy between men] did not infringe on the rights of Lim Meng Suang and Kenneth Chee Mun-Leon [Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee], who in 2012 argued that the statute was inconsistent with Article 12 of the Constitution, or 51-year-old artistic therapist and social volunteer Tan Eng Hong, who had been arrested for engaging in oral sex with another man in a public toilet in 2010. …
“While we understand the deeply held personal feelings of the appellants, there is nothing that this court can do to assist them. Their remedy lies, if at all, in the legislative sphere,” the Court of Appeal said in its judgment.
Human rights lawyer M Ravi, representing Tan, said, “Today’s decision has legitimised discrimination against gay men and approved the criminalisation of the conduct of their private lives by statute.” It is “huge step backwards for human rights in Singapore,” he added.
Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch, said, “Singapore likes to advertise itself as a modern Asian country and business destination, but this discriminatory anti-LGBT law is wholly out of step with international rights standards that guarantee protections, including for sexual orientation and gender identity.”
- Court of Appeal rejects constitutional challenge against Section 377A (Oct. 29, 2014, Channel NewsAsia)
- Court Ruling a Major Setback for Gay Rights: Repeal Retrograde Law Banning Consensual Sex Relations Between Adult Men (Oct. 29, 2014, Human Rights Watch)
- Singapore: New online ban on gay content (May 31, 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Quick, strong support for appeal of Singapore anti-gay law (April 19, 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Singapore court and anti-gay law: ‘a bump in the road’ (April 15, 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Singapore’s High Court upholds anti-gay sex law (April 9, 2013, 76crimes.com)