Singapore couple sue to end sodomy law

Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee are suing to end Singapore’s 377A sodomy law which brands them as criminals despite the government saying the law is not to be enforced proactively

Singapore couple sue to end sodomy law
01 December 2012

A Singaporean gay couple will challenge the country’s rarely enforced sodomy law which they say labels them as criminals.

Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee, who have been partners for 15 years, filed their challenge with the Singapore’s High Court after a Court of Appeal judgement on the Tan EL case opened up the opportunity for any gay person in Singapore to launch a constitutional challenge against s 377A.

The man, Tang Eng Hong, had challenged the constitutionality of Singapore’s 377A sodomy law and the couple hope to make use of that landmark ruling.

‘I don’t live in fear every day that I will get caught by the police because of my relationship with Gary but I know that s 377A labels me a criminal,’ Chee said in a statement.

‘While lawmakers have stated in Parliament that 377A will not be “pro-actively” enforced, this is not enough because it leaves the possibility of “passive enforcement,” should someone decided to make a complaint against us one day,’ Lim added.

The couple’s lawyers will argue that 377A presents a barrier to LGBT victims of crime in going to police and exposes them to discriminatory policies and practices .

They say the law also makes it difficult for governmental and non-governmental organizations to create programs aimed at ensuring the physical and psychological wellbeing of LGBT Singaporeans and legitimizes and perpetuates stigma against LGBT people.

Singaporean lawmakers have failed to scrap the law despite even the country’s influential first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, saying it should go.

Yew lead the country from 1959 until 1988 and remained as a mentor figure within the cabinet until May last year. His son, Lee Hsien Loong (pictured) is the current prime minister of Singapore.



No thumbnail available

Police testify against gay men arrested in Gambia

Trial of 18 men arrested for being gay in Gambia hears how police officers raided a bar in the capital Banjul
No thumbnail available

Man charged with first-degree murder of transgender woman in Memphis

Police arrest a man believed to have been in a relationship with Alejandra Leos for her murder
No thumbnail available

It's Howard Stern versus Michele Bachmann

Radio host and anti-gay congresswoman ratchet up war of words
No thumbnail available

Ghana and Africa must learn to respect LGBT rights

Instead of running anti-gay hate campaigns, Ghana and Africa should tolerate and respect sexual diversity which is inherent to its culture and traditions
No thumbnail available

NYPD looking for suspect in an assault on a gay man

Presently the incident is not being investigated as a hate crime
Gay son kicked out by religious parents receives incredible amount to start his new life

Gay son kicked out by religious parents receives incredible amount to start his new life

Prepare to have your faith in humanity renewed as generous, loving people rally around a 20-year-old who thought he lost everything
No thumbnail available

Great Rainbow Bake Off competition launched for schools

Students and pupils are invited to bake a rainbow-themed cake to coincide with the upcoming Anti-Bullying Week in the UK this November
No thumbnail available

Government probe refutes corruption charges against Nepal gay group

‘It has for sure provided us extra energy to continue our campaign for rights'
No thumbnail available

Same-sex marriage foe Marco Rubio doesn't believe being gay is a choice

'I believe sexual preference is something that people are born with'
No thumbnail available

Italy passes gay civil union motion for first time

Measure commits government 'to promote the adoption of a civil unions law'