Singapore

At a glance

  • Same-sex relations: illegal for men who have sex with men
  • Legal gender recognition: possible only after surgery
  • Registration of LGBTIQ organizations: possible
  • Actions related to SOGI at UN: opposed IE SOGI in 2016

 

Overview

Singapore has made progress on LGBTIQ issues over the last decade; however, there are still barriers to full LGBTIQ equality. The penal code 377A, that criminalizes same-sex relations between men is rarely enforced and currently faces three legal challenges; however, it contributes to institutional discrimination in policies towards LGBTIQ persons and anti-LGBTIQ sentiment in Singapore. Singapore’s censorship laws allow the government to censor media that depicts positive or neutral representations of the LGBTIQ community and this has been used frequently. In the last 5 years, politicians have softened their rhetoric towards the LGBTIQ community but remain firm on keeping the sodomy law, 377A. Public opinion, especially among young Singaporeans, is shifting.

Some legal progress has also been made. In October 2019, the Religious Harmony Bill listed sexual orientation as grounds to be protected against religiously motivated hate speech, violence, and discrimination. In August 2019, a law protecting against intimate partner violence was changed to include gender neutral wording, thus becoming more inclusive of LGBTIQ people.