Recognition of same-sex unions in Singapore

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Legal status of same-sex unions

* Not yet in effect, but automatic deadline set by judicial body for same-sex marriage to become legal

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There is no legal recognition of same-sex unions in Singapore.


In Singapore, access to public housing is the biggest benefit granted to married couples and is officially recognized as key pillar of support for relationships. Public housing is the most affordable type of housing for the middle and working class due to the high price of housing in Singapore.[1][2] Purchasing a HDB flat is a major step towards married life for almost all couples intending to formalize their relationship and is entrenched in Singapore society. Upwards of 80% of Singaporean families live in public housing apartments sold by the government Housing Development Board.

Same sex couples in Singapore, whether citizens or foreigners, cannot own their own homes through the public housing scheme, and many rent as they are unable to afford private housing. Same-sex partners - both must be above 35 and Singapore Citizens - can purchase a flat under the Joint Singles Scheme.[3]

Private housing, a type of property typically 1.5 to several times more expensive than public housing, but open to the public and foreigners, may be purchased by same-sex couples both Singaporean and foreign.[citation needed]

Legal status[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal
  Other type of partnership
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Foreign same-sex marriages recognized
  No recognition of same-sex couples
  Restrictions on freedom of expression
Same-sex sexual activity illegal
  Not enforced or unclear
  Life in prison
  Death penalty

Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code criminalizes homosexual sex between men, even if consensual. However, the Government has announced several times that the section will not be enforced in the case of consensual homosexual sex in private. Sex between women has never been criminalized.

Immigration and rights[edit]

Legal and immigration rights are not awarded to binational couples, where one partner is a Singaporean or Singaporean permanent resident. Dependent visas, which are usually issued for heterosexual spouses, are not available for same-sex couples. Tax rights, wills, and spousal insurance benefits do not include same-sex couples. There is no recognition of same-sex couples in most areas of concern such as hospital visitation and Central Provident Fund benefits.

See also[edit]