Lawmakers in Singapore repealed a colonial-era law that criminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations. But, a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman was also approved.
93 MPs voted to repeal Section 377A of the country’s penal code after 10 hours of debate that spanned two days. A constitutional amendment that ensures marriage remains defined between a man and a woman also passed with 85 MPs voting in favor of it.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in August announced his country would decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations, adding that society was becoming more accepting of gay people.
Singapore is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia by size but has outsize influence as a major shipping and commercial center. Its population of 5.7 million is a mix of Chinese, Indians, and Malay Muslims, who are largely traditional in their values. Southeast Asia as a whole is a conservative region and has been slow to recognize LGBTQ rights; none of its 11 countries allow same-sex marriage.
Better late than never!
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