Singapore’s highest court refuses to overturn country’s gay sex ban.

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02/28/2022

Singapore’s highest court rejected a bid by LGBTQ+ activists to overturn the country’s law that criminalises men having sex with men. The Court of Appeals stated that the law, which was first drawn up in 1938, does not breach the plaintiff’s constitutional rights as it is not enforced. Despite being “rarely used” by law enforcers, offenders can face up to two years in prison because of it. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon acknowledged that Section 377A (the law in question) had “long been a lightning rod for polarisation”, though their written 152-page-long decision did not find any constitutional violations. Menon explained that no one was being deprived of the right to life or personal liberty due to the “unenforceable” nature of the legislation. They added that the court is “not a front-runner for social change or an architect of social policy” and that “it is parliament, and not the courts, that is best placed to devise a pluralistic vision that accommodates divergent interests”.

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