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Singapore couple, former department store manager seek changes in anti-gay attitudes

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Associated Press
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February 14, 2013
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A gay couple in Singapore seeking to abolish a long-standing law banning gay sex had their case heard in court Thursday, just days after a former department store manager sued his boss for alleged discrimination against homosexuals. The two cases highlight how members of Singapore’s gay community have become increasingly vocal, demanding changes in the city-state’s attitudes toward homosexuality by speaking out against discrimination and raising legal cases to challenge the law. Singapore’s High Court held its first full hearing Thursday in a case brought by Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee. Peter Low and Choo Zheng Xi, the lawyers representing Lim and Chee, said the couple hopes to have the law banning gay sex declared unconstitutional. Singapore law criminalizes sex between mutually consenting adult men, and offenders can be jailed for up to two years. On Monday, Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San, a former manager at Robinsons department store, filed a lawsuit claiming his former boss had harassed him into leaving his job because he did not agree with his homosexuality. Robinsons denied any “biasness,” ‘’unfair treatment” or “persecution” by anyone at the store, or that Wee faced “difficulties” or “threats” when he wanted to leave the company.