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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
  • 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

  • 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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YouTube CEO Addresses LGBTQ Creators’ Monetisation Concerns

In March, Google dropped in terms of rank from the LGBT equality index

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FILE - Signage is seen inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

Addressing the concerns of YouTube’s LGBTQ community members, CEO Susan Wojcicki has denied claims that the video-sharing platform demonetises content from the community members because they fall under queer categories.

Demonetisation and poor recommendation of LGBTQ content are two areas that Wojcicki spoke about in an interview with vlogger Alfie Deyes, The Verge reported on Monday.

Questions about the treatment of LGBTQ creators’ videos on the platform have been around for years.

However, Wojcicki mentioned that YouTube does not “automatically demonetise LGBTQ content”.

“We work incredibly hard to make sure that our machines are fair when they learn something – because a lot of our decisions are made algorithmically. There shouldn’t be (any automatic demonetisation),” the report quoted the YouTube CEO as saying.

youtube, virtual makeup
FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

Both YouTube and its parent company Google have lately been facing flak for not being “supportive” enough towards the LGBTQ community members.

In June 2018, trans creator Chase Ross accused YouTube of age-gating and demonetising his videos because he used the term “transgender” in his titles.

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Earlier this year, Vox host Carlos Maza called out YouTube for allowing conservative pundit Steven Crowder to remain on YouTube after Crowder made repeated homophobic remarks.

In March, Google dropped in terms of rank from the LGBT equality index. (IANS)