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A Pink Dot event in Singapore. Photo by Edoardo Liotta. An obviously out of touch one is Section A of the Penal Code, a colonial-era law that forbids sex between two men.
But many are actively trying to repeal this. Many hope it will finally be struck down, as India — another former British colony — did in The last time Singapore came close to getting rid of the law was in , but the Court of Appeals eventually ruled that it was constitutional. After today, more hearings to discuss the issue are set for November 15, 18, 20, 21, and While the government no longer enforces the law, the fact that it is still part of the constitution in says a lot.
But a shift in attitudes, especially in the youth, has led to more people fiercely challenging the law. That was 5 times more than the number of respondents aged 65 and above who felt the same way. The same study also found that opposition to gay marriage fell to 60 per cent in , from 74 per cent in Conservative estimates from the first Pink Dot event in put attendance at around 1, to 2, people but this year, it reportedly drew a crowd of more than 20, Roy Tan, a retired doctor and one of the organisers of the first Pink Dot rally, is one of the three activists who are challenging Section A in court.
While hopes are high, some say that many Singaporeans still hold conservative views. We are something in between and that is the way this society is. Singapore, an icon of multiculturalism and the most religiously diverse country in the world, treads a fine line when it comes to LGBTQ issues. With many religious leaders actively coming forward to express disapproval on repealing Section A, the government remains largely conservative in an attempt to preserve the harmony, and appease the sensitivities of religious groups.