PlanetOut: Singapore head rejects Gay Pride parades

Monday, October 10, 2005

Singapore head rejects Gay Pride parades
PlanetOut Network
published Monday, October 10, 2005

Gay Pride parades will not be allowed in Singapore because they conflict with the conservative values of most Singapore residents, the city-state's prime minister said last week.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made the statement on Thursday during a lunch meeting with foreign correspondents.

"I don't think we're homophobic," he said. "I agree … that homosexuals are people like you and me. But there's some segment of Singaporeans who vehemently disagree with that and we have to be aware of that."

"Gay Pride -- well, you can do that in Sydney, in London, in San Francisco," he added. "But I'm not sure if I want to do that in Singapore."

People Like Us, a gay interest group in Singapore, reacted by calling on the government to decriminalize consensual gay sex.

"The government should ask whether the opposition to gay equality is not a virulently vocal, religiously motivated campaign by a small number of people that is in no way representative, but merely seems so because they have the clout and resources to make themselves heard," the group said in a prepared statement.

Earlier this year the government ejected the Nation party, the biggest annual gay event in Asia. The party had been held in Singapore since 2001.