Shared values of Singapore

sexual minority rights as Singaporean value

Phil C W Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


For scholars of comparative constitutional law and human rights, Singapore offers an exceptional platform in terms of the number and diversity of issues that require and excite discussions. A human rights issue less discussed is the legal situation affecting persons belonging to sexual minorities in Singapore, where consensual sexual activity between male adults continues to be a crime. The Singapore government opposes sexual minority rights development on the basis of a Singapore ‘culture’ that revolves around certain ‘shared values’. Persons belonging to sexual minorities in Singapore must therefore overcome a formidable hurdle in order to realise their right of equality, and the legal situation affecting them provides useful insight into the development of human rights and governance in Singapore in general. This paper first examines the Singapore government’s position on human rights by deconstructing Singapore ‘culture’. It then deconstructs the relevant laws affecting persons belonging to sexual minorities in Singapore and, finally, explores whether and how Singapore may develop its own jurisprudence on sexual minority rights under the framework of legitimate constitutional comparativism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-305
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Constitutional comparativism
  • Governance
  • Homosexuality
  • Human rights
  • Sexual minority rights
  • Shared values
  • Singapore

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