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Is Singapore's stance on homosexuality changing?

in SINGAPORE, 23/04/2013

Section 377 of the Penal Code may not mean much to people in the UK today, but the law which criminalises homosexual acts is a British legacy still found in many former colonies in the Far East. However, it is now being challenged in Singapore.

Under the law, a man caught committing an act of "gross indecency" with another man could be jailed for up to two years. It was introduced by British colonial authorities as part of broader legislation which also banned sexual acts such as anal and oral sex. Similar prohibitions also remain in section 377 of the Penal Codes of Malaysia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"It left behind section 377A so today only same-sex relations between men are singled out for criminalisation," says assistant professor Lynette Chua from the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the National University of Singapore.

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