Organisers of a run salted for 16 August in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Singapore cancelled the event on Thursday after police rejected their application for a permit.
LGBT advocacy “remains a socially divisive issue” in Singapore, the Singapore Police Force said in response to the application to hold the Pink Run on Aug 16.
The application was “rejected in the interest of public order,” said a police statement, quoted on the organisers’ Facebook page.
The statement suggested an alternative venue for the event at Speakers’ Corner, in a small park in the centre of Singapore where protest events can be held without a permit.
“It is disappointing but what I am more concerned about was the response that was given and how the police has framed advocacy as socially divisive,” said organiser Nicholas Deroose.
“We just wanted to go out for a run; we were not planning to upset public order.”
He posted a note on Facebook saying “people are still free to show up and run in their own personal capacity. There are no laws against running. You just won’t be a participant of the Pink Run”.
The Pink Run was organised as part of IndigNation, advocates for “LGBT pride season in Singapore”.
This is the second time LGBT advocates have tried to organise the Pink Run. The first attempt seven years ago was also aborted after organisers were told on the day that they were contravening the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
LGBT issues have hit the headlines several times this year in Singapore. A “Wear White” campaign in June was organised by conservative Christian and Muslim groups in a failed attempt to counter the highly successful Pink Dot; the National Library Board came under heavy fire last month for banning children’s books that included same-sex parents.