Poll find support for Singapore’s anti-gay laws is falling

A poll conducted in Singapore has shown that support for the country’s colonial era laws that outlaw homosexuality has dropped in recent years.

Less than half of those surveyed said they supported the criminalisation of homosexuality, revealing a shift in attitudes in the conservative country. The poll conducted by Ipsos asked 500 Singaporeans for their views on the issue and found that only 44% per cent of people still support the law. A similar poll conducted in 2018 showed a 55 per cent level of support.

Over the last several years several court cases have challenged the laws arguing that they are unconstitutional, but judges have ruled that it is up to the country’s parliament to take action on this issue.

The poll also showed that a growing number of Singaporeans actively oppose the laws with 21 per cent of people surveyed voiced their opposition to the criminalisation of homosexuality, previous polls had shown that only 12 per cent of people were opposed to the legislation.

Following the most recent court appeal in February, Singapore’s government has promised to look at the legislation. Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said the government would consult with different groups and access their viewpoints.

“If and when we decide to move, we will do so in a way that continues to balance these different viewpoints and avoid causing a sudden, destabilising change in social norms and public expectations,” the Minister said earlier this year.

Support for removing the laws was highest among younger Singaporeans with 67 per cent of those aged 18 to 29 saying they had become more accepting of same-sex relationships, while only 29 per cent of people aged over 50 felt the same way.

The study also showed growing support for same-sex couples ability to raise children, and growing support for same-sex couples to be allowed to adopt children.

The results of the survey were released ahead of the Pink Dot event held in Singapore over the weekend. The even, now in it’s fourteenth year, calls for homosexuality to be decriminalised.

OIP Staff

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