A Singaporean disc jockey filed a lawsuit against a law banning sex between men in the city-state, his lawyers said on Wednesday, inspired by India's landmark ruling last week.
The debate has intensified in Singapore since India's Supreme Court last week decriminalized gay sex, overturning a statute that dates back to British colonial rule.
Sex between men is still illegal in Singapore due to an inherited law of the same statute of the colonial era, although it is rarely applied.
The lawyers of Johnson Ong, former ambassador of the main gay rights group in Singapore, Pink Dot and known as DJ Big Kid, said they will present evidence to prove that the ban goes against the constitutional guarantee of personal freedom.
"We will argue that dignity is a fundamental concept that forms the basis of the fundamental freedom provisions of the Singapore Constitution," they said in a summary of their arguments sent to AFP, adding that they will prove that this law violates human dignity.
In 2014, the Singapore Court of Appeals dismissed a constitutional challenge to a gay couple against the law, known as Section 377A of the criminal code, saying it was for parliament to repeal it.
But lawyers Eugene Thuraisingam and Suang Wijaya, who represent Ong without payment, said they would cite a US report. UU From 2015 that says that sexual orientation "is immutable or repressible at an unacceptable personal cost".
If this is the case, "criminalizing the manifestation of sexual orientation, that is, consensual intimate activity, must be a violation of human dignity," they said.
Lawyers will also argue that since the first challenge was dismissed in Singapore four years ago, there have been judicial decisions around the world that legalize gay marriage or gay sex, including the ruling of the Indian court.
While Singapore's opulence has a modern and vibrant culture, official attitudes toward homosexuality remain conservative.
But public support for gay rights has been on the rise, and in recent years thousands of people have appeared at the annual Pink Dot gay rights rally in Singapore.
Tommy Koh, a senior diplomat from Singapore, urged the country's gay community on Friday to challenge the law banning gay sex, a rare high-level intervention on the issue.
Singapore's law and affairs minister, K. Shanmugam, said last week that the government was among the majority of Singaporeans who oppose the repeal of the law and a "growing minority" that wants it eliminated.