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    Singapore to decriminalise gay sex after years of ban

    The Singaporean government will decriminalise sex between men, the prime minister announced on Sunday, August 21, effectively making it legal to be homosexual in the city-state.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government would repeal Section 377A of the penal code, a colonial-era law that criminalises sex between men, adding that society was becoming more accepting of gay people.

    “I believe this is the right thing to do, and something that most Singaporeans will now accept,” he said in his annual National Day rally speech.

    However, Lee said the government had no intention of changing the city-state’s legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

    “Even as we repeal Section 377A, we will uphold and safeguard the institution of marriage (…). Under the law, only marriages between one man and one woman are recognised in Singapore,” Lee added.

    Singapore retained the colonial-era ban on gay sex after it won independence from Britain in 1965.

    Singapore is the latest place in Asia to move on LGBT rights, after India, Taiwan and Thailand.

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