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With law against him, Singapore politician Vincent Wijeysingha says he's gay

BY SATISH CHENEY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SINGAPORE -- This conservative city-state convicted men for homosexual behavior as recently as seven years ago, and the British colonial-era law it used is still on the books. Singapore's government shows no interest in making a change: The prime minister's advice has been to just let things be.

Opposition official Vincent Wijeysingha isn't taking that advice. On his Facebook page last week, he became the first Singaporean politician to come out of the closet, and he is advocating for the law to be scrapped.

He told The Associated Press on Monday that although the government resists decriminalizing homosexuality, "society will eventually overtake it on this question."

"I am entirely convinced the law will eventually be repealed," said Wijeysingha, treasurer of the Singapore Democratic Party.

The decades-old law makes "gross indecency" between men punishable by up to two years in prison. It has not been actively enforced in recent years, but 185 men were convicted under the law between 1997 and 2006, according to government data.

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