Is Singapore LGBT-friendly?

Historically, the British introduced Section 377 to the colony of Singapore, which was retained in Singapore's post-colonial Penal Code. Section 377, in its original form, criminalises any form of unnatural penetrative sex (i.e. any form that couldn't result in a baby). Strictly speaking, this applies universally to all sex that occurs in Singapore. This has since been repealed in 2007 and replaced with a new Section 377 that targets necrophilia.

Section 377A, however, remains in force to this day. It was introduced to criminalise any unnatural non-penetrative sex. In the Singapore context, it specifically criminalises acts of "gross indecency" between men. Gross indecency has been taken quite broadly, according to past legal precedence. If you're a woman, though, good for you.

If you ask me? Section 377A is not enforceable in practice. As long as you do it behind closed doors, nobody has a right to charge in and catch you in the act. Just think about it: What kind of evidence can the police give to get a warrant to enter your houses and find evidence that you are having homosexual sex? It's just ridiculous if you ask me - the police has more important things to do, when you consider how unlikely it is to find evidence strong enough to warrant diverting resources to investigate such a crime. Just don't do it in public and you're fine.

Section 377A, in reality, is just a symbol of Singapore's official stand against LGBT: That it is not accepted. However, the government of Singapore, as a rule, follows public opinion on this matter. They don't have follow any ideology or belief: They decide whether to keep or repeal Section 377A based on what they perceive to be the opinion of the majority. And so far, the conservative majority appears to be in favour of its retention.

Do note, however, that Singapore does not criminalise your existence. There are plenty of Singaporeans these days who are openly LGBT, or straight people who support their right to, well, have rights. We have regular Pink Dot movements, which is basically Singapore's local activist movement to raise awareness and support for LGBT in Singapore.

In fact, you're more likely to feel stress from conservative religious folk who believe your "condition" is causing you to fall from the grace of God, and that it is their duty to bring you back into the light, than to fear persecution from the mob.


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