Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Pink Dot takes issue with being cited by Govt as example that LGBTQ community does not face discrimination

SINGAPORE — The organisers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rally Pink Dot have taken issue with how the Government has cited the event at a recent United Nations (UN) meeting as an example of how the LGBTQ community here does not face discrimination.

Pink Dot takes issue with being cited by Govt as example that LGBTQ community does not face discrimination

MHA noted on Friday that the organisers of Pink Dot have held the event at the Speakers’ Corner for several years.

SINGAPORE — The organisers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rally Pink Dot have taken issue with how the Government has cited the event at a recent United Nations (UN) meeting as an example of how the LGBTQ community here does not face discrimination.

But the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in response to TODAY’s queries that the statement made during Singapore’s third universal periodic review (UPR) with the UN Human Rights Council was intended to illustrate the fact that the Government “does not tolerate violence, abuse, discrimination, and harassment” against any person or community here.

MHA noted on Friday that the organisers of Pink Dot have held the event at the Speakers’ Corner for several years.

“The event is subject to the same rules governing the use of the Speakers’ Corner as all other events held there. There are no additional rules imposed on Pink Dot,” it said.

“Singapore’s statement at the recent Universal Periodic Review was intended to illustrate these facts.”

The UPR reviews human rights situations in all UN member states once every five years. Singapore was last reviewed in 2016, and this is the third time that it is being reviewed.

In her closing remarks at the review on May 12, Ambassador-at-Large Chan Heng Chee had mentioned the rally while speaking about the country’s approach to dealing with LGBTQ issues.

Touching on the issue that was raised by several other countries including the United States, Sweden and New Zealand, Prof Chan said: “Let me reiterate that for Singapore, the LGBT community are valuable members of our society. The Government does not tolerate violence, abuse, discrimination, and harassment against the community.”

She then cited the example of the annual Pink Dot rally that has been organised by the LGBTQ community for the past 12 years.

Prof Chan pointed that while Section 377A of the penal code which criminalises consensual sex between men remains in the books, the Government has stated that it is not enforced.

“In the context of Singapore, where attitudes towards homosexuality are still evolving and various communities hold different views, any move by the Government must take into consideration the sentiments of all communities. We believe it is better to let the situation evolve gradually,” she said.

Responding to her comments, Pink Dot said it disagreed with Prof Chan’s comments that the event is an example of how the LGBTQ community here does not face discrimination.

In a statement that was accompanied by a short clip of Prof Chan giving her remarks, the organisers said: “Pink Dot exists as a protest against discrimination towards the LGBTQ community. We are not a convenient excuse for the Government to claim that discrimination does not exist.

“The Government should also not be taking credit for Pink Dot’s existence. Especially when our events are organised in spite of the obstacles placed in our way.”

Related topics

Pink Dot LGBT Section 377A MHA United Nations

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa