Pink Dot 2011
Accordingly to the Singapore Tourism website, “Just like other destinations, the city (Singapore) has her own unique set of offerings that sets her apart.”
One of the “unique set of offerings” that sets Singapore apart is the fact that sex between mutually consenting men is illegal. Meaning that any gay person including visitors who has sex in Singapore, even in the privacy of the hotel room, is technically breaking the law!
Of course one can argue that things will change. Yes, things did indeed change except that when change occurred in 2007, heterosexual couples were finally able to legally enjoy oral and anal sex.
As for gays, the same act can attract prison sentence of up to two years.
Save the gays!
Despite talk of diversity, there are demands by some churches that any mention of homosexuality be made in the negative and not neutral. There are also various church funded organisations that invest resources to “cure” gays and who are ready to summon their members to take over secular organisations deemed too gay friendly for their liking.
While these groups go about with their discriminating agendas, the reality for gays and gay couples is one of technically breaking the law every time they have sex.
Beyond sex, there are practical consequences conveniently ignored by homophobes. For example, when a gay man is dying in hospital, his partner can potentially be denied the right to be with him during last moments of his life.
Pink Dot 2011
On 18 June 2011, 10 000 Singaporeans made history turning up for Pink Dot at Hong Lim park, part of larger Singapore Chinatown. This extraordinary turnout propelled Pink Dot 2011 to become the largest gathering in 11 year history of Singapore’s Speakers Corner.
Gays, straights, entire families and even pets turn up in varying shades of pink to make a strong and simple statement in support of the Freedom to Love.
People of all ages and ethnic backgrounds were there and they expressed themselves in their very own ways and in pink. What you see then is a sea of diversity united by a common desire to support the freedom to love.
Google and DBS
Another major development was Google’s sponsorship of the event. Having a company of international reputation like Google is a major encouragement to the GLBT community.
The last time a relatively global, actually more regional than global, company made an impact on Singapore’s GLBT community was DBS, a Singapore bank.
In late 2008, DBS announced a credit card promotion to support Focus on the Family, a Christian group known for anti-gay stance. DBS' head of marketing, cards and unsecured loans, at that time was Josie Lau, who a few months later, plotted with her church friends, in an attempt to take over AWARE, a women’s gender equality advocacy group.
Josie and friends had perceived AWARE to be too gay friendly and so retaliated by taking over a secular organisation with the help of their church members.
Pink Dot goes global
Singaporeans who are overseas and cannot be part of the Pink Dot has creatively formed their own Pink Dots in major cities around the world and surely joined by many others who take a stand against unjust discrimination of individuals.
As much as Singapore promotes and aspires to be a global city, it can be argued that a truly global city is not defined by the tallest, largest, biggest shopping malls, high-rise buildings or extraordinary huge minister salaries.
A truly global city starts by treating their own citizens, gays included, as world class citizens.
Why should a society deny their gay population the right to love and to criminalise their sexual act?