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Singapore’s Gay Pride Rally attracts record Sponsorship despite Tighter Reforms

The rally gained recognition and this year's sponsors were mostly small and medium-sized enterprises.

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Gay Parade. Pixabay
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  • Singapore Government stated last year that foreign companies would not sponsor or participate in gay rallies
  • Gay pride rally in Singapore has gained recognition despite curbs this year
  • 18 companies contributed in 2016, out of which 13 were multinationals like Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook

Singapore, June 02, 2017: This year Singapore’s gay pride rally attracted sponsorship from a record number of companies despite strict government regulations aimed at stopping foreigners from supporting it, organizers said on Wednesday.

Organisers of the Pink Dot rally have raised S$253,000 ($183,000) from more than 100 Singaporean companies for the July 1 rally at a “Speaker’s Corner” in a downtown park.

18 companies contributed last year, out of which 13 were multinationals like Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook. Organisers did not mention how much amount was raised last year.

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Days after last year’s rally conservative Singapore’s government stated that foreign firms would not be allowed to sponsor or participate in the rally.

Foreigners were not legally allowed to join rallies in the city-state, but many lurked around the restriction by observing such events.

However, changes to the law announced in October removed the distinction between “participants” and “observers”, organisers said, leaving them with the only decision of barring the foreigners.

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A Singaporean executive, Darius Cheung, who led the funding drive, said the rally gained recognition and this year’s sponsors were mostly small and medium-sized enterprises.

“The more important part is to engage local companies to finally cement the position that the LGBT community is very well respected and accepted here and I think we did it,” Cheung told Reuters.

The event has been celebrated since 2009. People attend the event by dressing in pink and glowing pink flashlights.

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Under Singapore law, sex between men is culpable by up to two years in jail, though prosecutions are rare.

Adeline Yeo said she was disappointed that she would not be able to attend with her Polish girlfriend.

“I feel let down … we were looking forward to attending together,” said Yeo.

“But this has definitely made us stronger,” she added, referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“It’s all the more reason to pull all your friends and colleagues together for the Pink Dot.”

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The LGBTQ movement in other conservative Asian countries has faced pressure this year.

Two men were last week publicly caned after being convicted by a Sharia court of engaging in gay sex in Indonesia. In another part of Indonesia, police have formed a special force to investigate LGBTQ activity.

On Sunday, Police in China detained nine gay activists after they tried to organise a gay rights conference, one of the activists told Reuters.

However, a court in Taiwan, last week legalised same-sex marriage, first ever in Asia.

– by Staff writer at Newsgram

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  • vedika kakar

    Gay pride or lgbtq pride is so so important and yet underrated. Singapore as a country has no right to intervene in a persons sexuality or interfere in their pride parade, infact- nobody has been given such a right.

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‘In Standing up for Herself, Edie Also Stood up for Millions of Americans’, Tweets Bill Clinton as the World Mourns the Death of Gay Rights Activist Edith Windsor

Paying his tribute to Edie, former US President Barack Obama rightly said, "Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor - and few made as big a difference to America."

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Edith Windsor
Edie dearly loved the LGBTQ community which loved her right back and held her in reverence for her fight for freedom, equality, and justice. Wikemedia

New York, September 13, 2017 Gay rights activist Edith Windsor, whose same-sex marriage fight led to a landmark US ruling, has died aged 88.

Her death was confirmed to the New York Times by her wife Judith Kasen-Windsor. She died in New York.

“The world lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality,” the BBC quoted Kasen-Windsor as saying.

“Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community, which she loved so much and which loved her right back,” she added.

Edith Windsor’s Supreme Court case struck down the Defence of Marriage Act in 2013, granting same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.

She had sued the US government after being ordered to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax after her previous wife, Thea Spyer, died. The couple had been partners for 44 years and had married in Canada in 2007.

Windsor, known as Edie, argued that the provision of the law which defined marriage as between a man and a woman prevented her from getting a tax deduction due to married couples – and was “unconstitutional”.

In the landmark 2013 ruling, the US Supreme Court agreed – and that decision became the basis for a wave of further court rulings increasing the rights of same-sex couples.

In 2015, another crucial Supreme Court ruling gave same-sex couples the right to marry.

Remembering the gay rights trailblazer Edith Windsor, former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also paid their tributes.

“Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America,” Obama said. While Clinton tweeted: “In standing up for herself, Edie also stood up for millions of Americans…” (IANS)