Singapore: LGBT rally Pink Dot smashes local sponsorship target
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Singapore: LGBT rally Pink Dot smashes local sponsorship target

ORGANISERS of Singapore’s only annual LGBT event Pink Dot have raised SGD201,000 (US$143,500) from more than 100 local companies after the government banned foreign involvement and sponsorship of the event.

While previous events had relied upon largely foreign funding including from multinational corporations like Google, Bloomberg, Twitter and JP Morgan, Pink Dot had significantly surpassed its target of SGD150,000 from solely local donors in less than six weeks, reported The Straits Times.

Pink Dot is an annual event that began in 2009, held in the so-called Speaker’s Corner in Hong Lim Park – the only location in the city-state that citizens may stage a public protest. Since 2011 it has inspired similar events in Hong Kong, Penang and New York.

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Homosexuality remains highly stigmatised in Singapore, with no anti-discrimination laws in place to protect the LGBT community. A study from 2014 found that 78.2 percent of Singaporeans felt sexual relations between two adults was “always” or “almost always” wrong.

While rarely enforced, male same-sex sexual acts remain illegal. A review of the country’s penal code in 2007 reinforced that anal sex between men remained an offence as “gross indecency.”

Same-sex couples are not recognised under Singaporean law, restricting their ability to purchase property and access other legal rights. It is illegal for same-sex couples to adopt a child.

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That year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said:

“Singapore is basically a conservative society … The family is the basic building block of this society.”

“And by family in Singapore we mean one man, one woman, marrying, having children and bringing up children within that framework of a stable family unit.”

Speaking on the government’s decision to crackdown on foreign involvement, Singaporean Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said in April: “Why don’t we have confidence that our people can organise and take part in civic activities?”

Pink Dot 2017 will take place in Singapore on July 1.