Singapore still refuses to recognise same sex marriage

The Catholic Church in Singapore sent a strong message to the LGBTQ+ fraternity yesterday stating that while it respects the community it still won’t recognise gay marriages.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore yesterday issued a statement saying the LGBTQ+ community should respect the rights of the Catholic Church to maintain its position on marriage – that a family comprises a father, mother, and children – despite no immediate plans by the community to mount legal challenges to redefine marriage’s definition.

“We applaud and support the government’s clear articulation of its position on marriage and are assured that it is looking at safeguarding its current position of the law which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

“It is our hope that the safeguards on marriage and our freedom to proclaim and teach without fear or favour what we believe is recognised and maintained.”

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The statement was made by the Catholic Church on the back of whether the government repeals Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men.

Singapore has struggled with how to make its society more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community as most nations from around the world move toward recognising same-sex marriages.

A number of attempts have been made to overturn the legal ban on sex between men in Singapore but they have failed in the courts.

A 2014 court challenge against 377A failed when Singapore’s Supreme Court ruled it was a constitutional matter. In February, the Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss three challenges to Section 377A. The law has not been actively enforced for over a decade.

Leow Yangfa, the executive director of rights group Oogachaga, said the local LGBTQ+ community has no immediate plans to mount legal challenges to redefine marriage’s definition.

Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said that the government was considering how best to achieve this balance.

“Dealing with 377A, while also maintaining the current legal definition that marriage is between a man and a woman, should be discussed and decided in Parliament and not in the courts.

“While many Singaporeans agree that sex between men should not be a crime, most also do not want the current position of marriage being between a man and a woman to be changed.”

SOURCE: Asiaone Bangkok Post

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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