44% of Singaporeans, PRs support Section 377A, down from 2018: survey

·Senior Editor
·2 min read
The proportion of Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) who support Section 377A of the Penal Code, the law which criminalises sex between men, has fallen over the past four years.
Participants of Pink Dot, an annual event organised in support of the LGBT community, gather in a formation protesting the repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code, at the Speakers' Corner in 2019. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The proportion of Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) who support Section 377A of the Penal Code, the law which criminalises sex between men, has fallen over the past four years, according to a survey released on Thursday (16 June).

Around 44 per cent of the respondents support the legislation in 2022, the survey by Ipsos shows. This was a decline from 55 per cent in the 2018 survey by the market research firm.

The number of respondents who oppose the legislation rose to 20 per cent in the latest survey, from 12 per cent in 2018.

About 32 per cent neither support nor oppose Section 377A while four per cent prefer not to say.

The survey findings came after Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam spoke about Section 377A in Parliament on 3 March, saying that policies need to evolve to keep pace with the gradual shift in society's attitudes towards homosexuality.

Speaking at a forum the following week, Shanmugam said all individual ministers are bound by the Cabinet's decisions on government policy and they should refrain from expressing their own personal views on the matter.

In the survey, 45 per cent of respondents said they are more accepting of same-sex relationships than they were three years ago.

There was a wide gulf in the views among the different age groups on the issue. About 67 per cent of respondents aged 18-29 have greater acceptance for same-sex relationships than they were three years ago, compared with only 29 per cent of respondents aged 50 years old and above.

Meanwhile, 51 per cent of respondents agree that same-sex couples can successfully raise children, just like other parents. About 49 per cent of respondents agree that same-sex couples should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexual couples.

Ipsos 2022 survey on Section 377A and same-sex relationships. (INFOGRAPHIC: Ipsos)
Ipsos 2022 survey on Section 377A and same-sex relationships. (INFOGRAPHIC: Ipsos)

Melanie Ng, Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos in Singapore said, “Today, we continue to see a steady shift in societal attitudes, led by younger adult Singaporeans who are more ready to see the country embrace same sex relationships. At the same time, while the older generation of Singaporeans remains largely opposed to same-sex relationships, we also see attitudes slowly changing.”

The survey, which was conducted between 25 May and 2 June, involved 500 Singaporeans and PRs aged 18 and above, who were asked about their attitudes towards Section 377A and other aspects of same sex-relationships.

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