Singapore OKs anal, oral sex for straights, not for gays

Bryan Ochalla | October 26, 2007

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Singapore’s Parliament made the biggest-ever changes to its criminal code earlier this week, though the city-state’s gay citizens were still left in the lurch.

On Tuesday, Singapore’s Parliament repealed sections of its Penal Code that previously prohibited anal and oral sex. However, the law change only legalized the acts for consenting heterosexual adults – they’re still considered acts of “gross indecency” when the offending parties are two men and remain punishable with jail terms of up to two years.

In a rare speech before Parliament, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the state "is basically a conservative society... and we want to keep it so,” Reuters reported.

"Homosexuals should not set the tone for Singapore's society,” he added. “Nor do we consider homosexuals a minority... with minority rights protected under the law.”

Thousands of Singaporeans called for an end to the ban leading up to this week's debate, some because it discriminates against the state’s gay citizens and some because the ban isn’t strictly enforced.

Although Lee admitted to the latter yesterday, telling members of Parliament that the government does not police morality, he said that to drop the ban entirely would send a "wrong signal" because heterosexual families were the social norm.

"It's better to accept the legal untidiness and ambiguity,” Lee reportedly told Parliament. “It works. Don't disturb it.” – Issued by Gay Link Content

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