The campaign team behind Pink Dot, the annual LGBT pride gathering that has taken place in Singapore for over a decade, has invited Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to attend Pink Dot 2019, this Saturday.
Pink Dot issued the open invitation after rebutting some comments PM Lee recently made on Section 377A – a law in the penal code that criminalises gay sex. While the British colonial-era legislation is very rarely enforced here, a man found to have committed an act of “gross indecency” with another man could be jailed for up to two years under the law.
The latest social initiative against Section 377A, the Ready4Repeal campaign, gained immense traction and even drew support from establishment figures like former attorney-general Walter Woon and distinguished diplomat Tommy Koh, but failed to effect change.
On Wednesday (26 June), PM Lee quashed all hope that Section 377A will be repealed in Singapore anytime soon, as he asserted that the law criminalising gay sex will be around “for some time.”
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Claiming that Singapore has been open to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, PM Lee said:
“You know our rules in Singapore. Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore. But this has not inhibited people from living, and has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year.
“It is the way this society is: We are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between, it is the way the society is.”
Pink Dot disagrees with PM Lee’s views. The team behind the annual event asserted that “Pink Dot’s existence is not proof of Singapore’s inclusiveness to the LGBTQ community” and that “Pink Dot exists precisely because members of the LGBTQ community in Singapore continue to face discrimination and inequality in a multitude of ways, on a daily basis.”
The group added that Section 377A is a key cause of the discrimination the LGBTQ community faces in Singapore: “This discrimination that we face is borne from Section 377A, along with its trickle-down effects to other laws and policies that govern our society at large.”
Noting that PM Lee’s response shows that “he might not have a full understanding of the discrimination that takes place in Singapore,” the campaign team invited him and his colleagues to attend Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park on Saturday so that they can “truly make an effort to understand what the LGBTQ community go through on a daily basis.”
Asserting that Pink Dot is “more than just a convenient deflection against uncomfortable questions about the LGBTQ community in Singapore,” the campaigners said: “Our leaders might not have the vision or the confidence for a Singapore that can be united despite its diversity. However, we believe it is a Singapore which is possible.”
Read the group’s statement in full here:
[An Open Invitation to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong]Our Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong was reported by TODAY to…
Posted by Pink Dot SG on Thursday, June 27, 2019