Section 377A is a colonial era hang-over – the British introduced similar laws across its Empire. India’s Supreme Court struck down its Section 377 as unconstitutional in September 2018 and this gave Singaporeans fresh optimism that they too might be able to defeat the law through the courts.
Legal challenges were mounted by Johnson Ong Ming, a 43-year-old disc jockey and producer; 42-year-old Bryan Choong Chee Hoong, the former executive director of LGBT+ organisation Oogachaga; and Roy Tan Seng Kee, a 61-year-old retired medical doctor.
In October 2014, the Singapore Court of Appeal similarly refused to remove the country’s anti-gay law from the statute books. It said LGBT+ people would have to wait for Parliament to repeal Section 377A. However, politicians are unwilling to change it - and today, Singapore’s High Court rejected the new appeals.
However, hope remains! In Singapore, the Supreme Court is split into a lower part, the High Court, and an upper division, the Court of Appeal. Now the case can be taken back to the Court of Appeal.
The challengers will fight on – and we hope they succeed!!
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