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Singapore High Court upholds criminalisation of homosexuality

in SINGAPORE, 10/04/2013

The Singapore High Court Tuesday upheld the criminalisation of homosexuality, dismissing the first of two separate challenges that Section 377A of the Penal Code is unconstitutional.

The Singapore High Court Tuesday dismissed one of two legal challenges that Section 377A of the Penal Code is unconstitutional, ruling its objective of criminalising a conduct that "is not acceptable in society" is "clear". Section 377A criminalises sex between men.

In his 92-page judgment, Justice Quentin Loh said that in Singapore's legal system, whether a social norm that has "yet to gain currency" should be discarded or retained is decided by Parliament. Parliament voted in 2007 to retain Section 377A.

"To my mind, defining moral issues needs time to evolve and is best left to the legislature to resolve," said Justice Loh, noting that Singapore society is "in the midst of change."

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