S377A Now Repealed As President Halimah Yacob Assents
On 3 Jan, Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex between men, was officially repealed.
President Halimah assented to the repeal on 27 Dec after Parliament passed the act on 29 Nov.
The assent was published on the Government e-Gazette.
In addition, the Constitution was also amended to protect the definition of the institution of marriage in Singapore.
S377A officially repealed
On 27 Dec, President Halimah gave her approval to both repeal S377A and amend the Constitution.
This amounts to decriminalising gay sex between men.
The act was passed in Parliament following a two-day debate, during which the Workers’ Party decided to lift the whip on its members.
Lifting the whip meant that WP’s MPs were not required to vote according to a party direction.
However, the party also abstained from taking an official stance on 377A, leaving it up to its members to take their own stands.
Meanwhile, the PAP voted to repeal S377A and amend the Constitution to protect the definition of marriage.
A total of 93 MPs were in favour of repealing S377A.
Shifting attitudes, but definition of marriage has to be protected, says PM Lee
During the National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pointed out that Singapore’s attitude towards homosexuality had evolved.
Most can accept that behaviour relating to homosexual individuals is a private matter and should not be criminalised.
But due to concerns over marriage laws being changed in the future in the case of an S377A repeal, the government decided to protect the definition of marriage in the Constitution and from legal challenges.
The prevailing social attitude is still that the definition of marriage should remain as the union between a man and a woman.
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