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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.

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

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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.

Next Story

Section 377 : Does It Really Has Anything To Do With Indian Culture?

The modern Indian approach towards homosexuality is hardly the one derived from Indian culture

Gay pride Flag
Rainbow Flag represents LGBT community, VOA

By Ruchika Verma

  • Section 377 of IPC is one of the most controversial matters in India
  • The law criminalises the unnatural acts of sexual activities
  • Homosexuality is illegal under the IPC Section 377

Section 377, which criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature,” which includes homosexual relationships as well, has been a matter of debate for a long time now. In a rather progressive nation like India, this section represents nothing but backwardness.

Section 377 is one of the reasons why LGBTQ community gets harassed.
Section 377 is one of the reasons why LGBTQ community gets harassed.

The modern Indian approach towards homosexuality is hardly the one derived from Indian culture, rather it is a product of British colonialization, which brought the section into being during their rule over India.

LGBTQ rights are used as nothing but a propaganda by political parties to gain votes. The media coverage is also about nothing else, but either community members getting harassed or a politician spewing out absurdities about the LGBTQ community. The reasons which the rigid nationalists of our country give in support of Section 377 are even more absurd. they try to create a connection where there is neither scope nor need.

Also Read: Section 377 criminalising ‘unnatural sex’ may be scrapped, says Sadananda Gowda

Indian Culture and Section 377 – Is there really a connection? 

The truth is, there isn’t. Those who go against homosexuality in the name of Indian culture are surely not properly aware of our ancient texts. Indian culture, especially Hinduism has always been more fluid in its ideology than the British who ruled India for more than a century.

Indian culture has always recognised sexuality properly. Our scriptures are a great example of that. Be it the famous Kamasutra or the Vedas, sexuality was never a taboo until Mughals and Britishers came into the picture.

Indian culture nowhere says that homosexuality is wrong or unethical.
Indian culture nowhere says that homosexuality is wrong or unethical.

Nowhere in Indian culture, there is a scripture which validates the ill-treatment of LGBTQ community. What we don’t release is the fact that the weight of colonialism still hangs heavily over our heads, suspended in mid-air, dividing people who believe in totally two different ideologies.

Our ancestors recognised the need for changes in their law, sadly, our modern generation can not. Section 377 of the Indian penal code dates back to 1861, and it is now high time that a change is implemented.

LGBT community needs to be accepted just as much as any other community. Pixabay
LGBT community needs to be accepted just as much as any other community. Pixabay

It is no hidden fact that Indian culture was far more modern in its approach than the Roman or British one. However, that’s the case of the past. With time progressing, India has only regressed in the matters relating to sexuality and women.

Be it society’s way of controlling a certain section of society, or politicians who never step back from banking upon such matters, India needs to recognise that the Section 377 is totally wrong in its approach of homosexual people.

Section 377 and the problems with it

Also Read: How did Rainbow Flag attain the Prestige of representing the LGBT Community? 

Section 377 goes against the ‘unnatural’ sexual activities, which involves unnatural sexual acts performed on humans and animals. the key term in the section is “against the order of nature.”

Homosexuality, unfortunately, is against the nature in India. It is not treated as an identity or the orientation of a person, rather many radicals claim it to be an ‘illness.’ What’s more interesting, is the fact that there is no norm which defines these ‘unnatural acts.’

The IPC Section 377 is the reason why homosexuality in India is a taboo today. Despite, several protests and peaceful rallies, India’s pride just keeps on going down. Homosexuals live in a constant fear which is a violation of humanity in itself.

pride flag
The rainbow pride flag of the LGBT community. Wikimedia Commons

The law needs to be constantly modified in order to be effective. With the change in time, a modification is law is also needed. However, Indian Supreme Court seems to be ignoring the fact. It is going along with the old beliefs which are better cast away.

The IPC Section 377 needs not to get removed, however, an amendment is definitely needed. Homosexuality is not a crime, it is just human nature which needs to accept. To be or not be is not a choice, it is an orientation. And orientation doesn’t see legal or illegal.