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Legal challenge to Section 377A begins in the High Court; judgment reserved

Published on Feb 14, 2013 8:09 PM
 
A Singaporean gay couple of 15 years, Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee, have filed a legal challenge seeking to have Section 377A, which outlaws sexual relations between men, declared unconstitutional. Lawyers for the couple, Choo Zheng Xi (front, centre) and Peter Low (front, right) walking in for the hearing on Thursday. The couple were not present. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING

The Attorney-General's Chambers on Thursday put forward several arguments for keeping a law which criminalises sex between men, in its defence against a challenge from a gay couple.

The case was heard in chambers by Justice Quentin Loh, after graphic designers Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee sought a repeal of Section 377A, arguing that it goes against Article 12 of the constitution which says all persons are equal before the law.

But among other things, the AGC submits that Section 377A has the "clearly-stated purpose" of reflecting public morality.

"This is based on the fact that the majority of Singaporeans still find homosexual acts unacceptable, as reflected in parliamentary debates," it said.

 
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