sex crimes

Singapore Keeps Gay Sex Ban, But Promises Not to Enforce It. Uh, Great

singapore

China beat India. And now India looks like it’ll beat Singapore in a nationwide repeal of laws that criminalize same-sex sex. But there’s good-ish news, if you appreciate sarcasm!

While only New Delhi dropped the law so far, there’s an assumption the rest of India will quickly catch up. But some 2,500 miles to the southeast, Singapore isn’t offering its gay citizens anything close to that.

Becuse most Singaporeans don’t accept homosexuality, argues Law Minister K. Shanmugam, the nation won’t repeal the law. BUT: They won’t enforce it either! “We sometimes in these things have to accept a bit of messiness. The way the society is going, we don’t think it’s fair for us to prosecute people who say that they are homosexual.”

Which means they’ll keep on the books a law that carries a two-year jail sentence for gay sex, but they won’t punish anyone for it. (Only two years ago did they legalize oral and anal sex for heteros.)

nogaysex

Is this reason to smile? Not quite. While an assurance from Singapore’s legal chief that state attorneys won’t busy themselves with prosecuting gays for getting it on is good news, these anti-sex laws were never about putting people in prison. They were about state-sanctioned intimidation and harassment, giving police carte blanche to harass and detain gays for any reason they see fit.

The one tiny bit of good news? The beautiful Pink Dot campaign has reason to return next year, bringing together GLBTs and their friends.