A petition calling on the government in Singapore to retain a colonial-era law banning gay sex has received 65,000 signatures after it was launched less than 24 hours ago.

The petition was launched in the aftermath of the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalise gay sex last Thursday.


SINGAPORE - JUNE 30: Participants dress in various shades of pink, hold up placards during the 'Night Pink Dot' event arrange to increase awareness and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Singapore at Hong Lim Park on June 30, 2012 in Singapore. The event is the fourth annual gathering held in support of the freedom to love. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Those convicted of having gay sex face up to two years in prison (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty)

The law, which is in place since Singapore was a British colony, means that gay people could be prosecuted and could face up to two years in prison for having sex. Nobody has been prosecuted under the law for some time.

The description with the petition notes that there has been a “renewed call” for the decriminalisation of sexual activity between gay people since India’s ruling on Thursday.

“As a conservative society which values traditional family values, we like to reiterate our desire to keep the penal code to convey to our future generations that marriage act should only be an acceptable norm between a man and a woman.

“By repealing the section 377A penal code, it would begin to normalise homosexual behaviours as a societal norm and lead to greater push for other LGBT rights in our conservative society as we have seen played out in other western societies today.

“We do not think the vocal minority should impose their values and practice on the silent majority who are still largely conservative.”

The petition is accompanied by an image of a man and a woman holding hands, and has a goal of 75,000 signatures.

There has been speculation since India’s landmark ruling this week that Singapore could be the next country to decriminalise gay sex.

The country’s former UN ambassador, Tommy Koh, called for a class action suit to change the law after India’s decision.

ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty

Similarly, Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, has also raised the possibility of repealing the law, which predates Singapore’s independence in 1965 by a decade.

Singapore is a former British colony and inherited a law criminalising homosexual acts.

Rachel Yeo, a Singapore-based LGBT+ activist, told PinkNews last month that the law is “not regularly enforced” and that the last high-profile case was “probably around a decade ago.”

However, she added that there is a “sense of uncertainty” for LGBT+ Singaporeans. She said that it takes “a thick skin” to live her truth.




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