BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 23:45 GMT 00:45 UK
Singapore retains its gay sex ban
File pic of Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong
PM Lee said he wanted Singapore to remain conservative
Singapore's parliament has voted against a proposal to decriminalise sex between men, despite receiving a petition signed by thousands of people.

The plan was part of a wider reform of sex laws, many dating from the British colonial era half a century ago.

The chamber passed a bill legalising oral and anal sex for the first time, but only between heterosexuals.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government did not consider gays to be a minority with minority rights.

In a rare speech to parliament, he said Singapore was a conservative society, and he wanted to keep it so.

Tuesday's vote means Singapore's anti-gay law 377A remains, although prosecutions are rare.

Under the legislation, a man caught committing an act of "gross indecency" with another man could be jailed for up to two years.

Country profile: Singapore
24 Mar 07 |  Country profiles
Singapore reviews oral sex law
06 Jan 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Singapore eases gay ban
04 Jul 03 |  Americas
Singapore censor passes Brokeback
15 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Singapore tries to loosen up
12 Jul 03 |  Asia-Pacific

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific