While the government does not intend to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sexual activity between two men, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the legislation has not prevented individuals to whom the legislation might apply from “living”, and has not hindered the influx of talent into Singapore’s technology industry.
Responding to a question from a member of the audience at the Smart Nation Summit at Marina Bay Sands on Wed (26 Jun) regarding making Singapore’s legislation more inclusive for individuals who are not heterosexual, Mr Lee said that Section 377A “remains on our legislation, and it will for some time”.
However, he stressed that retaining the particular piece of legislation does not mean Singapore is hostile towards the LGBTQ community, as Section 377A “has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year”.
“You know our rules in Singapore. Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore.
“It is the way this society is: We are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between […] And I think in this framework, it is completely possible for us to have a vibrant tech and cultural scene,” added Mr Lee.
Mr Lee’s statement drew flak from netizens, many of whom have shared their personal experiences, which appear to be at odds with what the prime minister had described at the Smart Nation Summit: