Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on repeal of Singapore law banning sex between men

GENEVA – I welcome the announcement by the Prime Minister of Singapore to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises consensual sexual conduct between men. This colonial era law has more broadly impacted and stigmatised the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people as a whole.

Everyone is entitled to the equal protection, respect and fulfilment of their human rights, including LGBTIQ+ people. Repealing Section 377A will help pave the way for constructive dialogue and greater understanding and acceptance of and safety for LGBTIQ+ individuals in Singapore.

With regard to the Government’s announced plans to amend the constitution to ensure the legal definition of marriage be limited to an act between a man and a woman, various UN human rights mechanisms have urged all States to legally recognize same-sex unions – whether by making marriage available to same sex couples or through other arrangements, such as civil partnerships – and have also called for the same benefits and protections for all. It is essential that the law protects the relationships of all consenting partners, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics.

I call on the Government to expedite the repeal process and take measures to protect the rights of LGBTIQ+ people, including enacting anti-discrimination legislation that covers discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

Source: United Nations Human Rights

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