Singapore will legalize gay sex, although not gay marriage, the country announced Sunday.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a televised speech that the conservative city-state’s attitude toward the LGBTQ community has changed in recent years.

“This will bring the law into line with current social models and I hope provide some relief to gay Singaporeans,” he said Sunday.

But Lee reiterated that same-sex marriage will not be permitted there and that Singapore’s Constitution will be amended to prevent any future changes.

“Even as we repeal Section 377A, we will uphold and safeguard the institution of marriage,” Lee said. “We have to amend the Constitution to protect it. And we will do so. This will help us repeal Section 377A in a controlled and careful way.”

Lee had previously pledged to not enforce the colonial-era law prohibiting gay sex but later opted to repeal it altogether.

Singapore inherited the law from the British but chose to keep it on the books after gaining independence in 1965, according to the BBC.

Singapore Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong delivers a speech at a session of the International Conference on "The Future of Asia" in Tokyo Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Singapore Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong said that the conservative city-state’s attitude toward the LGBTQ community has changed in recent years.
AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, file
A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017
Singapore’s LGBTQ community has become increasingly visible in recent years.
REUTERS/Darren Whiteside/File Photo

Despite the ban, Singapore’s LGBTQ community has become increasingly visible in recent years, and Lee said general acceptance has grown.

Several other Asian countries — including Taiwan, Thailand and India — have also recently expanded LGBTQ rights.



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