Gay rights activism grows in Singapore

Last updated 20:35 30/06/2013
Participants dressed in pink enjoy a picnic before taking part in the forming of a giant pink dot at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore.

PINK ACTIVISM: Participants dressed in pink enjoy a picnic before taking part in the forming of a giant pink dot at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore.

Relevant offers


Bill English to talk trade with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during New Zealand visit US judge grants Singaporean blogger's asylum request Body of NZ man who dived off a cliff to try to save his swept away girlfriend in Bali found Australian man given suspended sentence, fined $200, over jet ski death South Korean ferry that sank 3 years ago lifted from sea Nearly $7000 raised to bring home Kiwi man missing in Indonesia US, Seoul vow to punish Kim Jong Un, North Korea after failed missile test Planes were trying to leave and land as the air traffic controller slept the day away Piggy Bank' turtle Omsin dies after good luck coins poison her blood The Whanganui River was the first in the world to be given human rights, now it's got some sacred company

Singapore is seeing a groundswell of support for same-sex rights, reflected in a record 21,000-strong Pink Dot rally in the city-state, only months after its High Court rejected a petition to repeal a law which criminalises sex between men.

‘‘There is more awareness, especially with the rise of social media. I think with greater awareness, there is greater support as well,’’ said Kierin Galistan, a secretary and one of the participants at the Pink Dot rally on Saturday.

‘‘Everyone deserves to love and be loved, regardless of sexual orientation,’’ said Galistan.

In Singapore, sex between men carries a maximum penalty of two years’ jail, but the law is seldom enforced.

Organisers said the Pink Dot rally in Hong Lim Park was the biggest since its inception in 2009, with an estimated 21,000 people.

‘‘It’s a strong signal that Singapore is not as conservative as some think,’’ said rally spokesman Paerin Choa.

The Singapore High Court in April rejected a petition by graphic designers Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee to repeal the gay sex law and few believe Singapore will soon change what critics say is an archaic and discriminatory law.

‘‘It seems that the Singapore government thinks it’s not time to change the law yet, as they have the perception that the majority of the people in Singapore are still conservative,’’ Lynette Chua, an assistant professor of law at National University of Singapore, said on Sunday.

Chua said pro-gay rights people are likely to wait for the outcome of Lim and Chee’s appeal to understand the court’s thinking before challenging the law again.

The US Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for gay rights on Wednesday by forcing the federal government to recognise same-sex marriages in states where it is legal and paving the way for it in California.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content