Singapore's High Court upholds anti-gay sex law

Published: April 9, 2013

Strait Times in Singapore reports:

    The High Court has dismissed a legal claim by gay partners Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee that Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between two men, was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

    In his 92-page judgment, Justice Quentin Loh said that Singapore’s society in the midst of change, and in a case where the change in a “particular long-held social norm” has yet to gain currency, a court is “hard put” to decide whether to retain or discard that social norm.

    That decision, he said, is best left to Parliament, and he noted that Parliament had voted to retain Section 377A in 2007.

The decision might be appealed to Singapore’s Court of Appeals.

The Gary Lim/Kenneth Chee case is the second of two legal challenges seeking to overturn Singapore’s against sexual relations between men.   Opponents of the law say it is discriminatory and harmful to gay and bisexual men, even though no one has been prosecuted under the law for many years.

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