Today, the High Court of Singapore upheld the controversial article 377A of the constitution, which states that same-sex relationships (pertaining mostly to men) are illegal, and can be punished with up to two years in prison.
Three separate cases were challenging the law, stating that it was archaic and unnecessary. The law is rarely used and is largely a leftover from Britain’s colonial rule of the small city-state. Unfortunately, Justice See Kee Oon dismissed all three cases, saying the law was constitutional because it was “safeguarding public morality.”
Jessica Stern, Director of OutRight International, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting for justice around the world, stated, “It is incredibly disappointing to see the High Court of Singapore uphold this colonial-era law. Even while lying dormant, such laws send a strong message…”
The organization also stated that Singapore is just one of 68 countries around the world that currently penalize same-sex relations. However, recently, a number of countries have repealed their laws, such as Botswana, Angola, Trinidad & Tobago, and India. Hopefully, in the near future, Singapore will follow suit and remove article 377A from their constitution.