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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.

Next Story

Transgender Persons Bill Faces Objection by LGBTQ Community

More than schemes and policies, general awareness and tolerance is needed for the community. People need to be sensitive

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Homosexuality, India
LGBTQ COMMUNITY ON TRANSGENDER BILL

Urging for equality and freedom of expression, members of the LGBTQ community raised their objections against the recently passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill.

“The problem is that it talks about a screening body for us. It makes begging an offence for us,” Mumbai-based transgender activist, Gauri Sawant, who was a petitioner in the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) judgement passed in 2014, said at an event here on Saturday.

People of this community are mostly shunned by their families and someone else deciding their identity is “unacceptable”.

LGBTQ
LGBTQ COMMUNITY ON TRANSGENDER BILL

“Also, begging is not something that only the transgender people indulge in,” Sawant said.

Social activists, intellectuals and eminent personalities walked the ramp and held an auction as part of the fundraiser programme for the marginalised during an event ‘Third Eye’ held here.

According to Ranjita Sinha, a member of West Bengal Transgender Welfare Board, “No man or woman would like to identify as a transgender, hence there is no need of a screening committee.”

Sharing her story, Sawant said: “After knocking at the door of the Supreme Court, I got the right to adopt a child as I wanted to be a mother. But why can’t the society accept us as citizens of the nation that the Constitution talks about.”

Bengal-based transgender educationist Atri Kar talked about being bullied “not by students but fellow teachers”.

West Bengal Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya supported the cause by participating in the power walk where the likes of transgender educationist Atri Kar, and Rudrani Chettri who runs a modelling agency for the community, participated.

“More than schemes and policies, general awareness and tolerance is needed for the community. People need to be sensitive,” Bhattacharya said.

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A painting by Kalki Subramaniam, a Tamil Nadu-based transgender writer, actor and painter, was auctioned at the event. The proceeds will go for education of members of the transgender community.

“I was born as a boy and wanted to be a girl, and I express that through my paintings. I have trained more than hundred transgender artists across India,” Subramaniam said. (IANS)