Repealing Section 377A; strengthening marriage

On Monday, The Straits Times interviewed Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on the Government’s decision to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises sex between men. Here is an edited excerpt of the interview.

"The definition of marriage is not going to be in the Constitution. That is not the intention," said Mr K. Shanmugam. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
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Q: Could you take us through the thought process of why the Government has decided to repeal Section 377A now, in the context of the latest judgment?

A: You heard the Prime Minister. I, the Attorney-General, both advised him that there is a significant risk of S377A being struck down in a future challenge, on the basis that it breaches the Equal Protection provision in the Constitution. The Attorney-General and I came to this view, we talked to other lawyers as well. We carefully studied the judgment, and, in this case, the Court of Appeal ruled on many points, but it expressly refrained from ruling on whether S377A breaches the Equal Protection provision in Article 12 of the Constitution.

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