Opposite-sex marriage is ‘prevailing social norm’ says Singapore govt

Opposite-sex marriage is ‘prevailing social norm’ says Singapore govt

Singapore’s ‘prevailing social norm’ remains opposite-sex marriage, a government spokesperson has said.

They were responding to a recent survey that found Singaporeans are becoming increasingly accepting of same-sex couples.

The results buoyed LGBTI-rights campaigners in the conservative city-state where gay sex remains illegal.

‘The prevailing social norm remains that of a man and a woman marrying, having and bringing up children within that framework of a stable family unit’ an unnamed spokesperson for the Ministry of Social and Family Development told Today Online.

The spokesperson said maintaining social cohesion is the Government’s priority.

‘On issues where there may be deeply held views based on personal beliefs and values, it is important for… respectful and civil dialogue and for society to find common ground across the different perspectives’.

‘Robust surveys and studies can be useful in informing and supporting this process, but do not replace it.’

A survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) last week found just over 20% of people polled did not think that same-sex relations between consenting adults were wrong.

Importantly, the survey found a 10% increase compared to five years ago.

Section 377A

But, a March survey found that Singaporeans were in favor of maintaining Section 377A of the Penal Code.

The British colonial-era law which punishes homosexual sex between men with up to two years in prison.

Authorities rarely enforce the law. But, it fosters negative attitudes towards LGBTI rights in the city-state.

Prior to this, a petition launched in favor of maintaining Section 377A received over 109,000 signatures.

Less than half that number signed a petition for the abolition of the law launched around the same time.

Last year, one man launched a high court challenge claiming 377A is constitutional.

Meanwhile, Christian and Muslim religious leaders urged followers to support it.

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Author: Rik Glauert