Last edited: May 15, 2004

Singapore Removes Gay Job Ban, July 5, 2003

By Newscenter Staff

The government of Singapore has quietly removed a law prohibiting the hiring of gays within the civil service.

Gay people are now allowed to work in "certain positions in government", Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said in an interview with Time magazine, excerpts of which were released by his office.

"In the past, if we know you're gay, we would not employ you but we just changed this quietly," he told the magazine.

But, gays and lesbians will have to declare their sexual orientation in job application forms. Goh claimed it was " for the applicants' own protection."

"If you are working in a sensitive position and you're trying to hide your sexual preferences and instinct... if you're discovered by somebody else, then he can blackmail you," he said.

Goh also said that the government had no intention of repealing laws making gay sex illegal. "The heartlanders are still conservative," he said. " You can call it double-standard."

"And for the Muslims, it's religion, it's not the law. Islam openly says the religion is against gay practice."

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