Law banning sex between men to stay
A law that criminalises sex between men is constitutional, Singapore's highest court ruled yesterday.
Rejecting arguments that the provision contravenes the Constitution, the three-judge Court of Appeal rejected two separate challenges to strike down the law.
The judges found that Section 377A of the Penal Code did not infringe on the rights of gay couple Gary Lim, 46, and Kenneth Chee, 38, as well as 51-year-old Tan Eng Hong, who contend that the provision is discriminatory and should be declared void by the court.
Their argument is that Section 377A infringes their right to equal protection under the law, as guaranteed by Article 12 of the Constitution, and violates their right to life and liberty, as guaranteed by Article 9.
The offence carries up to a two-year jail term for men who, in public or private, commit acts of "gross indecency" with other men.
Mr Tan was the first to file a challenge against the statute in 2010 after he was charged with having oral sex with another man in a public toilet. Mr Lim and Mr Chee later filed their own challenge.
Their cases were separately heard and dismissed by High Court Judge Quentin Loh last year. Their appeals were heard together in July this year.
Read the full report in our print edition on Oct 30.
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