Singapore

AT A GLANCE

Same Sex
Relations
Legal?

Illegal for men who have sex with men

Legal Gender
Recognition
Possible?

YES

(But only after surgery)

LGBTI Orgs
Able to
Register?

YES

Actions Related
to SOGI at
the UN

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

Overview

Singapore has made progress on LGBTIQ issues over the last decade; however, there are still barriers to full LGBTIQ equality. In March 2020 the country’s High Court dismissed three challenges to section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code, leaving a colonial-era law banning same-sex relations between men in effect. The law is not enforced, 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. Censorship laws are applied actively, and often target content which depicts positive or neutral representations of the LGBTIQ community. In the last 5 years, politicians have softened their rhetoric towards the LGBTIQ community but support for retaining Section 377A remains strong. 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.