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Singapore has laws banning homosexual behavior. Despite these laws, homosexuality in Singapore has taken on a new revival.

Most recently, Vincent Wijeysingha, treasurer of the Singapore Democratic Party, came out of the closet on his Facebook page last month. He's the first Singaporean politician to come out of the closet, challenging the laws against homosexuality.

According to Section 377A of the penal code, "gross indecency" between men is a crime, with perpetrators facing two years in prison.

While the government isn't particular about enforcing the law, it's still on the books and people are still convicted--185 men were convicted between 1997 and 2006, writes TIME.

Homosexuals in Singapore are coming out more openly, with a record turnout of almost 20,000 at this year's Pink Dot gay advocacy rally. In fact, many major companies such as Google and JP Morgan sponsored the event.

Recently, a former marketing manager from Harper's Bazaar in Beijing founded Element magazine, a magazine targeting gay men and purporting to be "the voice of gay Asia."

But due to concern in obtaining government licenses, the Singapore-based magazine is only available in digital format and not in print. The magazine launched this past spring and featured interviews with dancers at gay clubs in Thailand, as well as a roundup of gay-friendly resorts in Asia.

Even though the LGBTQ community in Singapore is coming out in greater prominence, homophobia in Singapore isn't going away anytime soon. According to a 2012 study by Oogachaga Counselling and Support, a Singapore based organization that provides support to the LGBTQ community, 60.2 % of respondents claimed that they had suffered sexual orientation discrimination.

Will the law in Singapore change anytime soon? Says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: "Why is that law on the books? Because it's always been there and I think we just leave it."





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