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Video: MHA reminds foreign businesses to be 'careful' about advocating LGBT issues in Singapore

Guest Roy Tan

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Guest Roy Tan

On Thursday, 4 August 2022, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reminded foreign businesses to be “careful” about advocating LGBT issues in Singapore, following comments made by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a visit to the country earlier this week.
In a statement issued from Singapore on Monday, 1 August 2022 as the American politician kicked off a high-profile Asia tour, Pelosi asked business groups to support the local LGBTQ community as more American companies set up offices here.
In response, the MHA said on Thursday, 4 August 2022: “The Government would like to remind foreign businesses that while they are free to promote diversity in their companies, they should be careful about advocacy on issues in Singapore that could be socially divisive."
These included LGBT issues, said the ministry, adding that “these are matters for Singaporeans to discuss and come to a consensus on how to move forward”.
In May 2021, a webinar co-hosted by the US embassy and local LGBTQ non-profit organisation Oogachaga also prompted a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
“MFA has reminded the US Embassy that foreign missions here are not to interfere in our domestic social and political matters, including issues such as how sexual orientation should be dealt with in public policy,” said the ministry.
“These are choices for only Singaporeans to debate and decide.”
Debates over Section 377A - a Singapore law criminalising sex between men but is not actively enforced - had gained traction in recent months.
In February 2022, Singapore’s apex court ruled that Section 377A was "unenforceable". 
But the Government said that it was considering the best way forward on the law, while respecting different viewpoints including those of a significant group who wished for 377A to be retained.
Singapore would also look to safeguard the current legal position on marriage against challenges in the court, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam the previous month.
The existing legal position on marriage was defined under Section 12 of the Women's Charter as being between a man and a woman; same-sex marriages were considered void.

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