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Thousands Turn up to Singapore’s First LGBTQ Rally Since Gay Sex Was Decriminalised

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Source: AFP Photo

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Thousands gathered for the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rally Pink Dot on Saturday (June 24) in Singapore, the first one to be held since Section 377A, a decades-old law criminalising gay sex, was repealed in November.

Saturday’s rally, held at Hong Lim Park from 4pm to 9pm, was the 15th iteration of the event.

According to Today Online, this year’s Pink Dot featured community booths, with initiatives targeted at supporting families in the community, as well as an evening of performances, including a dance item by queer collective Bottom to the Top and live music performances by M1LDL1FE and Jean Seizure, among others.

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There were also speeches by five speakers: Siew Kum Hong, a former Nominated Member of Parliament who filed the first citizen’s petition for the repeal of Section 377A; Medli Dorothea Loo, theatre-maker; Robin Lim and Linda Foo, the parents of a gay child; Cally Cheung, director of Prout, a group championing connections within the LGBTQ+ community; and Azfar Anwar, co-founder of Quasa, a queer advocacy and support group for LGBTQ+ minorities.

In his address at the rally’s opening, Siew said, “I always believed repeal would happen in my lifetime. Finally, last year, love overcame prejudice.

Speaking to the media before the event, Pink Dot spokesperson Clement Tan said that this year’s rally is centred on the family theme to dispel the notion that repealing 377A would lead to the disintegration of family values.

“In the lead up to repeal (of 377A), we saw a lot of people in society – particular groups – put out their campaigns that called for the protection of the family as an institution… The constitution was amended to block any legal challenges against the definition of marriage.”

“We saw a lot of our political leaders also taking the floor in Parliament, talking about how LGBTQ equality was somehow a threat to family values,” shared Tan.

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“The chosen families that we find within the community, or the families that we were born into deserve recognition, support, validation. It shouldn’t really matter what families look like in Singapore – most certainly not what the Government defines as worthy of recognition,” he said.

Tan said, without giving figures, that he was pleased with the turnout on Saturday.

 

What do you think of this? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

 

Also read: Singapore Announces Plan To Decriminalise Gay Sex, Draws Mixed Reactions

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Source: AFP Photo
Source: AFP Photo

Follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest stories and updates daily.



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