Singapore reconsiders gay sex ban

Founding father says it is not government's business to barge into people's rooms.

    Lee says a pragmatic approach is needed to "an inevitable force of time and circumstance" [AP]
    Under proposed changes to its legislation, Singapore is to decriminalise oral and anal sex for consenting adult heterosexuals but keep a ban on gay sex.
    Moral police

    "But at the same time let's not go around like this moral police ... barging into people's rooms. That's not our business"

    Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's minister mentor

    Lee, who is minister mentor in his son's cabinet, said the government could not ignore conservative views in Singapore where homosexuality is not widely accepted, but that the authorities had to take a pragmatic approach.
    "I think we pragmatically adjust, carry our people ... don't upset them and suddenly upset their sense of propriety and right and wrong," Lee told a group of young activists from the ruling People's Action party, according to the paper.
    "But at the same time let's not go around like this moral police ... barging into people's rooms. That's not our business.
    "You have to take a practical, pragmatic approach to what I see is an inevitable force of time and circumstance," he said.
    Singapore says gay sex is "against the order of nature", an act punishable by up to life in prison, but there have been few prosecutions.
    Some groups, such as Singapore's Law Society, have called for a review of the laws against homosexual sex.
    Movie ban
    Separately on Monday, producers of a Singaporean film about a homosexual relationship between a teacher and his 18-year-old student was pulled from the Singapore International Film Festival after government censors said sex scenes had to be cut.
    Festival organisers and the film's producer said the film Solos would be withdrawn from public screening in line with the festival's policy of showing only uncensored films.
    The Singapore Board of Film Censors said the film contained "prolonged and explicit homosexual lovemaking scenes including scenes of oral sex and threesome sex" which had to be removed.
    The cuts make up about five minutes of the 77-minute film, Florence Ang, the film's producer, said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.