S’pore Parliament Votes To Repeal Section 377A, 93 MPs In Favour Of Move

Singapore Parliament Votes To Repeal 377A On 29 Nov

After the latest Parliament debate today (29 Nov), a majority of members in attendance have voted in favour of repealing section 377A.

Source: MCI Singapore on YouTube

In total, 93 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted in favour of revoking the decades-old law criminalising gay sex, while only three voted against the repeal.

Additionally, 85 MPs voted in favour of introducing Article 156 into the constitutional amendment which allows the Parliament to define, regulate, protect and promote the institution of marriage.

Law and Home Affairs Minister Shanmugam said that the Parliament’s overall choice protects the current definition from being ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

93 MPs in favour of 377A repeal after 10-hour debate in Parliament

According to The Straits Times (ST), the debate over repealing Section 377A lasted 10 hours across two days.

While 93 MPs voted in favour of the move, the following leaders were against the repeal:

  • Workers’ Party (WP) MP Gerald Giam
  • WP Dennis Tan
  • Nominated MP (NMP) Hoon Hian Teck

In Parliament, MP Louis Ng discussed the treatment of individuals with existing records of convictions under Section 377A.

To this, Minister Shanmugam confirmed that there are several cases. However, most involve non-consenting victims, acts against minors, or sexual acts committed in public.

He added that a “small number of individuals” were convicted for consensual, private, homosexual acts between adults between 1988 and 2007.

Mr Shanmugam affirmed that he will have his ministry look into how the records can be rendered spent.

Article 156 also introduced to constitutional amendment

In addition to Section 377A, 85 MPs voted in favour of the introduction of Article 156 to the constitution.

In this regard, WP MPs Sylvia Lim and He Ting Ru abstained. Meanwhile, both Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Non-Constituency MPs voted against the move.

For those who are unfamiliar, Article 156 grants the Parliament power to make laws to define and protect the institution of marriage, among other things.

Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament that social norms will stay as they are.

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Featured image adapted from MCI Singapore on YouTube.

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