Though the country’s biggest rally in support of nation’s LGBT community Pink Dot is set to break attendance records once again for its edition at Hong Lim Park this Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong maintains that Singaporeans are still not ready to accept same-sex marriages.
In response to a recent question posed by Filipino broadcast journalist Antonio Victor Torrente Velasquez about his views on gay marriage, the prime minister remarked that the society at large are still conservative, and that LGBT groups should not be pushing their agenda too hard to avoid conflict with the majority, Channel NewsAsia reports.
The folks behind Pink Dot however are obviously disheartened by his comments, and expressed their disappointment in a recent media statement.
Though PM Lee stated that LGBT Singaporeans do not face discrimination here, they pointed out that the very existence of Section 377a of the Penal Code continues to be an inherent prejudice against homosexuals.
The controversial legislation criminalises sex between mutually consenting adult men.
“While it is claimed that Section 377a is not enforced, its presence alone encourages discrimination and reinforces prejudice, leading to censorship in the media and the aggravation of negative stereotypes, impacting the health and wellbeing of a significant segment of society.”
Though they agree that Singapore’s position as a multi-cultural and multi-religious society creates a plurality of deeply entrenched viewpoints, they insist that the topic should be openly discussed instead of being ignored.
“We firmly believe that dialogue is our best way forward. As such, we would like to invite Prime Minister Lee to join us in celebrating the Freedom to Love, this Saturday, June 13, at Hong Lim Park, and meet with the individuals, families, and loving couples who form a vibrant part of Singapore’s social fabric,” they wrote.
The prime minister has yet to RSVP, though it may seem unlikely that he will attend as that will truly make a huge portion of his supporters — who are mostly conservative —unhappy. However, it would be probably be safe to assume that he wouldn’t agree with some of the anti-Pink Dot folks invoking heavy rain to disrupt the rally this Saturday.