Case for Same-sex Marriage to be Allowed in Singapore

Posted On: November 10, 2022


In Singapore, there is currently no law that allows same-sex couples to get married. However, there are many countries in the world where gay marriage is allowed for both straight and gay people. Some of these countries are Australia, Canada, France, and most recently Japan among others. This means that many of them have legalized same-sex marriage allowing people from all backgrounds to be able to marry whoever they want regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

S377A is a very broad law that criminalizes all homosexual sex acts, including consensual and non-commercial acts.

  • Section 377A is a very broad law that criminalizes all homosexual sex acts, including consensual and non-commercial ones.
  • It is discriminatory as it denies same-sex couples in Singapore the right to marriage which heterosexual couples have access to.
  • It is in conflict with the personal privacy guaranteed to all individuals under Article 9 of the Constitution.
  • It casts a negative and discriminatory effect on gay people as it makes them feel morally wrong for their sexual orientation. The law sends a message that homosexuality is not acceptable, or even illegal – teaching young children at home or school that being gay or lesbian is something sinful, immoral or wrong could potentially lead them into depression later in life due to social stigma and prejudice against them by society (“Human Rights Watch: Issue Brief – Homophobia in Asia”).

There is no evidence to show that children raised by gay parents are disadvantaged in any way by their parents’ sexual orientation.

There is no evidence to show that children raised by gay parents are disadvantaged in any way by their parents’ sexual orientation.

Children of gay parents have the same level of development as children of straight parents, and they do not have a greater risk of being gay themselves. Gay men and women can be just as good at parenting as heterosexual couples, and there is no link between the sexuality of a child’s parent(s) and how well-adjusted that child is later in life.

The fact that studies have shown almost exactly the opposite proves this point:

A study conducted by psychologist Charlotte Patterson showed that “there was no difference between children who grew up with two heterosexual parents versus those raised by one mother who adopted her partner’s biological child or an unrelated woman.” In fact, she found “no differences across groups in terms of adjustment problems, self-esteem or gender identity issues among children whose mothers had changed partners since conception.”

The belief that homosexuality is ‘against nature’ is not supported by science.

Homosexuality is not a choice, it is not a mental illness, it is not an abnormality in any way and it is not a lifestyle choice or sin. In fact, homosexuality has been observed in hundreds of different species among mammals, birds and reptiles.

The majority of Singaporeans are against repealing Section 377A as they believe this would lead to moral decay in society but this law does nothing more than prevent consenting adults from expressing their love for each other, and feel like outlaws.

Gay rights are human rights. Sexual orientation lies at the core of an individual’s identity and being denied the right to marriage is a violation of human dignity.

If you are gay, lesbian or bisexual, the law says that your relationship is not equal to that of a heterosexual couple’s. This violates your right to dignity and equality under our constitution.

The government should repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code because it’s outdated and discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation. A repeal would send a clear message that Singapore values diversity, inclusiveness and human rights over discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry if they wish to formalize their relationship because it gives them access to numerous legal benefits and protection.

Married couples are entitled to more rights with regards to medical decision making (e.g., during emergency situations), healthcare options, parenthood, housing, inheritance, equal tax treatment and immigration rights (e.g., sponsoring their non-citizen spouse’s citizenship application).

Section 377A is discriminatory as it denies same-sex couples in Singapore the right to marriage which heterosexual couples have access to.

  • In Singapore, same-sex couples cannot marry. They can only register their relationships but they do not have the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to adoption and inheritance. For example, if one member of a same-sex couple passes away without leaving any will behind then his or her partner will not be able to inherit anything from him or her because he or she does not have any legal ties with him/her.
  • In Singapore, same-sex couples are entitled to limited legal rights regardless of whether they register their relationships or not. A same-sex couple may face difficulties when accessing healthcare services together because hospitals would require such patients’ partners’ consent before giving treatment and information about their health conditions.


We believe that all people should be allowed to marry the person they love. It is a basic human right and one that must be protected by our government. Additionally, same-sex couples in Singapore already face many difficult legal challenges including medical decision making (e.g., during emergency situations), healthcare options, parenthood and housing rights just because of their sexual orientation.

Allowing same-sex marriage will give them access to more legal benefits which heterosexual couples already enjoy as well as protection for their families. Finally, Section 377A discriminates against gay people by denying them access to legally recognized marriages while heterosexuals have this option available to them.


  1. Elangovan, N. (2022, November 4).TODAY Youth Survey: 3 in 5 want to protect marriage definition but views split on whether same-sex marriages are wrong. TODAY.
  2. France-Presse, A. (2022, November 2).Tokyo issues long-awaited same-sex partnership certificates. The Guardian.
  3. Patterson, C. J. (1994). Lesbian and Gay Families.Current Directions in Psychological Science3(2), 62–64.
  4. Penal Code section 377A | Infopedia. (2010, January 31).
  5. Singapore will decriminalize sex between men by repealing a colonial-era law. (2022, August 21).

P.S. I posted this video on my TikTok and received a comment that I should JUST ACCEPT that the government is not perfect and get over it (or something to that effect). S377A only got repealed because enough people spoke up for LONG enough for change to happen. I am speaking up but doesn’t mean I am NOT in acceptance and awareness of WHY it is like this right now. I might be just ONE voice – for the past 13 years but it doesn’t mean I don’t do or say anything. (And obviously I CARE about many other things including on other aspects of sex and sexuality as well).

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice since 2009, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the media, Dr. Lee is the appointed Clinical Sexologist for Singapore Cancer Society. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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