Gay sex in ultra-conservative Singapore is classified as “an act of gross indecency” and is punishable by up to two years in prison, according to the Associated Press.
But attitudes appear to be shifting from the top. Over the weekend, Singapore’s former Prime Minister and founding leader Lee Kuan Yew commented that the nation should take a new look at its approach to homosexuality given compounding evidence that it’s genetic and not a choice.
Said Lee Kuan Yew: “This business of homosexuality…it raises tempers all over the world. And even in America! If in fact it is true, and I have asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual — because that’s the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes — you can’t help it. So why should we criminalize it? But there is such a strong inhibition, in all societies – Christianity, Islam, even the Hindu Chinese societies. And we are now confronted with a persisting aberration. But is it an aberration? It’s a genetic variation.”
Amendments to decriminalize gay sex are currently pending in Singapore’s Parliament, so Kuan Yew’s statements are important. He added: “So what do we do? I think we pragmatically adjust, carry our people … don’t upset them and suddenly upset their sense of propriety and right and wrong. But at the same time let’s not go around like this moral police … barging into people’s rooms. That’s not our business. You have to take a practical, pragmatic approach to what I see is an inevitable force of time and circumstance.”
Now that’s refreshing.