On The Ground

Section 377A: A question of constitutionality

Given the public interest in the law, it is useful to unpack the legal arguments to understand what drove the Government to decide to repeal it rather than risk having it declared unconstitutional by the courts

Section 377A faced its first court challenge in 2010. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

On Aug 21, 2022, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in his National Day Rally speech that the Government would be repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises sex between men. He said that repeal was the right step as societal attitudes had changed.

PM Lee also disclosed that Law Minister K. Shanmugam and Attorney-General Lucien Wong had advised the Government that there was a significant risk of the law being struck down by the courts in future as being unconstitutional on the grounds that it breaches a provision in the Constitution that provides equal protection to everyone.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.