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Gay activists condemn Singapore "gay sex" ban ruling

2014-10-30
SingaporeGay rights groups have condemned Singapore's highest court after it ruled earlier this week (October 29) that the country's 76-year-old ban on gay sex is constitutional. The country's Court of Appeal has rejected two legal challenges that argued that Section 377A – which states that men who practice gay sex in private or public can be jailed for two years – infringes on the human rights of gay Singaporean citizens. In a statement made following the ruling, the Court of Appeal's judges told the LGBT community: "Whilst we understand the deeply held personal feelings of the appellants, there's nothing that this court can do to assist them. Their remedy lies, if at all, in the legislative sphere." "Only one voice, and one voice alone, is relevant," the judges added. "It is the voice of the law, which represents the voice of objectivity." Fourteen local gay rights groups have released a joint statement criticising the decision, arguing that Section 377A "gives carte blanche for discrimination and reinforces prejudice". They added: "To be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law is a right to which every Singaporean should be entitled, and not denied on the basis of whom they love." Meanwhile, Singapore’s state-run National Library Board (NLB) has recently cracked down on material they deem to be against the country’s “traditional family values”, which led to the NLB banning a children’s book about a couple of gay male penguins raising a chick together. Read the full story here.