Singapore

Hate Forces LGBT Run Cancellation

Hate Forces LGBT Run Cancellation

hate forces lgbt run cancellation
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.

Pink Dot Biggest Ever

Pink Dot Biggest Ever

pinkdot2014final

The biggest ever Pink Dot festival ended in Singapore last night with en estimated 26,000 people attending.

Fears of anti-lgbt protests didn’t materialise and the event was was generally much like a large picnic, but the large numbers crowding Hong Lim Park, and as well as the big name corporate sponsors, which included Google, JP Morgan and Barclays Bank, have sent a powerful message to the island’s ultra conservative and strict government.

Pink, obviously was the colour of the day with beards and dogs proudly showing of the colour of the “Freedom To Love”, which is absent in Singapore which still has colonial era anti-gay laws in place.

Rally spokesman Paerin Choa stressed it was not a protest but aimed to “promote inclusiveness and diversity and to make LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Singaporeans feel that this is a place we can all call home”.

The evening was boosted by a great line up of local musical talent, as well as the finale when a huge Pink Dot was formed after dark.

Support The Singapore Equality Appeal

Support The Singapore Equality Appeal

GaryLimKennethChee

A legal challenge in under way in Singapore to fight the city-state’s legal ban on consensual sexual relations between same-sex partners.  Everyone can help by donating to the fight on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com (we are not associated with this website).

The case stems from colonial era legislation inherited by Singapore when it gained its independence from Great Britain, and the government has steadfastly refused to repeal or amend the law known as Section 377A.

The appeal to a high court ruling in April is being mounted by two Singaporeans, Gary Lim, 44, and Kenneth Chee, 37, who have been together for 15 years and have described the antiquated and discriminatory legislation as “an affront to our legal identity”. The court ruled ‘It is clear that Parliament saw a reasonable differential upon which to distinguish between two classes: anal and oral sex in private between a consenting man and a consenting woman (both aged 16 and above) was acceptable, but the same conduct was repugnant and offensive when carried out between two men even if both men were consenting parties.’  A statement that could be interpreted as sympathetic, but in our opinion the judges were not prepared to challenge the state over the issue.

The couple has appointed Senior Counsel Deborah Barker who is a partner and head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution, at Khattar Wong LLP, one of Singapore’s leading law firms. They have also retained Queen’s Counsel Lord Peter Goldsmith, a former Attorney-General of England & Wales, to argue the appeal as co-counsel with Barker, although his application to argue the case in Singapore is still pending.

The crowdsourcing funds to fight the appeal case currently stand at around $S100,000 but much more is needed to create an effective legal case.

 

 

 

A Pink Dot On The Landscape

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong must be choking on his noodles this morning following an evening when 21,000 of the country’s citizens lit up the night sky at Hong Lim Park in a demand for equality, fully supported by a number of large businesses.

Singapore might seem on the surface to be a modern thriving democracy, but despite the fact that elections do take place, there is little real freedom for the city-state’s inhabitants, as almost every aspect of their lives are regulated in some way by the government.

One minority group suffers from discrimination, criminalization, and legally unfair treatment in their daily lives – the country’s LGBT community, and the very people who last night very politely and very calmly call upon their ‘elected’ government to treat them equally with every other sector of society.

Regrettably, they feel so intimidated that the event could not be publicly called a “gay”, an “LGBT” or even a “Pride” event. Pink Dot promotes itself as “Growing Support For The Freedom To Love” in a discrete message which avoids throwing the words ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ into the face of a homophobic government.

The event, if held anywhere else in Singapore, would never receive a permit to go ahead, but unique rules for Hong Lim park have allowed this peaceful and family friendly gathering to take place over the last five years, although permission to close two roads edging the park was bluntly refused despite the fact that it was widely expected, and materialised, that the number of people attending this year would be far greater than last year. In fact the figure grew from 16,000 in 2012 to an estimated 21,000 this year.

Another irritation for Lee Hsien Loong must be knowing that both local and international corporations offered sponsorship and other support to Pink Dot and their rightful aims; amongst them were JP Morgan, Google, and Barclays Bank, plus well known local brands CooperVision, Park Royal On Pickering, and The Gunnery.

Perhaps this event will be a real stepping stone towards equality and acceptance for our brothers and sisters in Singapore.

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