Lawrence Bernard Wee, 40, who was suing former employer Robinsons, has ended his quest to have the courts declare workplace discrimination against gay men unconstitutional by withdrawing his case April 21, the Attorney-General’s Chambers said in a media statement.
Wee last August had sought a court declaration that Article 12 of Singapore’s Constitution provided for equal protection of the law and prohibited workplace discrimination of gay men, reports todayonline.com.
Following that the Attorney-General’s Chambers applied to have this struck out on the basis that it was not sustainable in law, was frivolous and vexatious or was otherwise an abuse of the Court process. Wee will have to pay costs to the Attorney-General for withdrawing the appeal.
When an assistant registrar with the High Court struck out Wee’s claim against the Attorney-General, he appealed to a High Court judge against the decision.
Wee, Assistant General Manager for cards and corporate sales at Robinsons, had sought the court declaration after failing in a suit against Robinsons for “constructive dismissal” arising from alleged anti-gay discrimination. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer makes life so difficult and hostile that an employee is forced to resign.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers said Wee “had failed to show an arguable case that the Government had violated his Article 12 constitutional rights” and that he had “therefore failed to show he even had the standing to seek the declaration.”
Singapore courts are notorious in throwing out anti-gay discrimination lawsuits always citing the Section 377A law in Singapore’s penal code. The British colonial era law criminalizes same-sex relations and carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail .
Gay rights activists in the predominantly Buddhist and Taoist city-state have been advocating to get the law repealed but with little success.