M Ravi and his clients drop case to make gay discrimination illegal

SINGAPORE — A former Robinsons employee has ended his quest to have the courts declare workplace discrimination against gay men unconstitutional.

Mr Lawrence Bernard Wee, 40, withdrew his case on Monday, said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) in a media statement yesterday.

Last August, Mr Wee had sought a court declaration that Article 12 of Singapore’s Constitution, which provides for the equal protection of the law, prohibits workplace discrimination of homosexual men. The Attorney-General 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.

When an assistant registrar with the High Court struck out Mr Wee’s claim against the Attorney-General, he appealed to a High Court judge against the decision.

Mr Wee had no comment yesterday when contacted through his lawyer M Ravi. A former Assistant General Manager for cards and corporate sales at Robinsons, he had sought the court declaration after failing in a suit against Robinsons for “constructive dismissal” gay arising from alleged homosexual discrimination. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer makes life so difficult that an employee is, in effect, forced to resign.

The AGC said Mr Wee’s lawyer had also withdrawn another three intervention applications — filed by “an androgyne, a transvestite and a bisexual” — that were seeking to be joined as plaintiffs to his case. NEO CHAI CHIN

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