Public discussion on a colonial-era law that criminalizes sex between men is gaining momentum in Singapore, where a senior minister said any easing would ensure the current definition of marriage is protected.

While the government is reviewing the regulation, "at the same time we are considering how can we safeguard the current legal position on marriage from being challenged in the courts,” Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said in a Facebook video clip posted on the weekend. "We are now considering how best to achieve this balance.”

Singapore has grappled with how to make its society more inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community even as some countries around the world move toward recognizing same-sex marriages. Several attempts to overturn the legal ban on sex between men, known as Section 377A of the Penal Code, have failed in courts over the years. Thailand, regarded as conservative and deeply religious, became the first country in Southeast Asia to move toward legalizing same-sex unions this year.