Featured News PM Lee quashes all hope that S377A will be repealed anytime soon,...

PM Lee quashes all hope that S377A will be repealed anytime soon, says the law will be around “for some time”

In answer to a question on how the country's laws might affect its quest to bring in more tech talent, the PM said everyone was welcome to work in Singapore, whatever their sexual orientation but the rules would remain

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has quashed all hope that Section 377A will be repealed in Singapore anytime soon, as he asserted that the law criminalising gay sex will be around “for some time.”

While Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code – a British colonial-era legislation – is very rarely enforced here, a man found to have committed an act of “gross indecency” with another man could be jailed for up to two years under Section 377A.

The latest social initiative against Section 377A, the Ready4Repeal campaign, gained immense traction and even drew support from establishment figures like former attorney-general Walter Woon and distinguished diplomat Tommy Koh, but failed to effect change.

In response to a question at the Smart Nation Summit at the Marina Bay Sands on Wednesday (26 June), PM Lee said that S377A will remain a part of the law and that this will not be a setback to Singapore’s efforts in attracting tech talent.

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An audience member at the summit had asked the head of Government how the nation’s policies and regulations could be adjusted to attract talent, including those with other sexual orientations.

Section 377A of the Penal Code — the law that criminalises sex between men — will be around for some time, but this will not hinder Singapore’s efforts to attract tech talent, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in response to a question on Wednesday (June 26).

He was answering an unidentified audience member at the Smart Nation Summit, who had asked about how the country’s regulations can be made more diverse to attract tech talent, including those with other sexual orientations.

Asserting that Singapore has been open to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, PM Lee said:

“You know our rules in Singapore. Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore. But this has not inhibited people from living, and has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year.

“It is the way this society is: We are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between, it is the way the society is.”

He added that this “framework” would not hinder the tech industry in Singapore. -/TISG

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