During a speech on Sunday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that his government will decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

Lee made his comments at a rally to celebrate National Day, which marks Singapore's independence from Malaysia.

However, Lee added that his government would also define marriage as a heterosexual union in the nation's constitution.

“Private sexual behavior between consenting adults does not raise any law and order issue,” Lee told the crowd. “There is no justification to prosecute people for it nor to make it a crime. This will bring the law into line with current social mores and I hope provide some relief to gay Singaporeans.”

Introduced to the Penal Code in 1938, Section 377A criminalizes gay sex in Singapore. The law is a holdover from British colonial rule. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Singapore upheld that the law cannot be used to prosecute men for having sex with men but refused to strike it down as unconstitutional.

While the law has not been enforced in decades, LGBTQ rights advocates have worked tirelessly for its repeal.

LGBTQ rights advocates cheered the news of the law's repeal.

“Decriminalization will not only improve the lives of LGBT people and their families, but will bring other obvious benefits to business, trade, and Singapore's international reputation, making this announcement welcome on many front,” said Leow Yangfa, executive director of Oogachaga, an NGO that works with Singapore's LGBTQ community.