Lawyer for gay couple argues that anti-same sex law should not apply to private acts

 Lawyer for gay couple argues that anti-same sex law should not apply to private acts

SINGAPORE - The law that criminalises sex between men should be modified so that it does not apply to private acts between consenting adults, the lawyer for a gay couple argued in the Court of Appeal on Monday. 

 


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Partners to appeal against dismissal of challenge to gay-sex law

The Straits Times
Apr 21, 2013

THE two gay partners who recently failed in a legal challenge against Section 377A of the Penal Code said on Thursday that they will appeal against the court's decision to uphold laws criminalising gay sex.

Graphic designers Gary Lim, 44, and Kenneth Chee, 37, had filed a case against the law in November. Last week, Justice Quentin Loh ruled that the law was constitutional.

He disagreed with, among others, the argument put forward by the pair that parts of the law were so vaguely worded that it could be applied indiscriminately.

In his 92-page ruling, Justice Loh also said that the question of whether the law should be removed or kept should be decided by Parliament, not the courts, noting that it was an issue of morality and societal values.

Mr Lim and Mr Chee said on Thursday in a statement that they were filing an appeal because they believe that "gay men should not have to go to jail for being who they are". The two added that the existence of Section 377A had a dampening effect on society.

"For example, LGBT businesses and societies face unfair and often insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles in getting registered," they said.

LGBT stands for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

A group of friends and supporters of the pair has started a fundraising campaign online to cover their court fees, and they hope to raise US$50,000 (S$61,800) in the next two months.

Another similar case, involving massage therapist Tan Eng Hong, is currently awaiting judgment by Justice Loh.

The two legal challenges against Section 377A had sparked a sharp response from some quarters of the Christian community earlier this year with several pastors issuing strongly worded statements on the matter.

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