Singapore govt launches LGBT survey as ‘best way forward’

The Singapore Merlion decked out in rainbow pride. Image: T100Timlen
The Singapore Merlion decked out in rainbow pride. Image: T100Timlen

A country where sex between people of the same gender is a crime, Singapore yesterday launched a nationwide survey to take the temperature on attitudes toward its LGBT community.

The Ministry of Communications and Information’s REACH unit launched an online LGBT survey to gather general thoughts about the community from the public. 

“We wish to hear your thoughts about the LGBT+ community in Singapore. This survey is open to everyone regardless of your sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” it wrote, adding that the feedback will be circulated to agencies and “could be used” to update or change policies.

The unit said the survey stemmed from Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam’s recent parliamentary promise that the government would consider the “best way forward” on the gay sex law, aka Section 377A of the Penal Code, and “respect” and “consider” different viewpoints.

Numerous challenges to the law, which bans “acts of gross indecency” between men, have been dismissed through the years. Last month, the Court of Appeal dismissed yet another which argued  the “entirety” of the law was “unenforceable.”

The short survey with 16 prompts contains both open-ended and multiple-choice questions asking such things as whether respondents think the LGBT community is “accepted,” and whether they support it.

The survey could only be found promoted in online LGBT communities and was not publicized on REACH’s website or socials. 

The survey is conducted through an online form that is open to anyone, including foreigners. It says it will likely close Friday.

Shortly after this story was published, the survey was taken down. REACH, which did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment, said on the error page that it had received an “overwhelming response that far exceeds the usual number of responses received” in their system.

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