Our Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong was reported by TODAY to have made the following statement in response to a question on Section 377A:
“You know our rules in Singapore. Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore,” he said. “But this has not inhibited people from living, and has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year. “It is the way this society is: We are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between, it is the way the society is.”
We disagree with PM Lee.
Pink Dot’s existence is not proof of Singapore’s inclusiveness to the LGBTQ community. Pink Dot exists precisely because members of the LGBTQ community in Singapore continue to face discrimination and inequality in a multitude of ways, on a daily basis. This discrimination that we face is borne from Section 377A, along with its trickle-down effects to other laws and policies that govern our society at large.
Judging from PM Lee’s response, he might not have a full understanding of the discrimination that takes place in Singapore. This year, Pink Dot 11’s campaign tells stories of discrimination that the LGBTQ community experiences in our country. We invite PM Lee and our leaders to come down to Hong Lim Park this Saturday and truly make an effort to understand what the LGBTQ community faces on a daily basis.
Pink Dot SG is more than just a convenient bulwark against uncomfortable questions about the LGBTQ community in Singapore. We are a rally that has, for the past decade, seen tens of thousands of Singaporeans gathering to send a message to the government and society. A diverse community of LGBTQ citizens and allies trying to find a way to live life fully in this country we call home.
Our leaders might not have the vision or the confidence for a Singapore that can be united despite its diversity. However, we believe it is a Singapore which is possible.
Come to Pink Dot. Listen and learn from the community.
To everyone else living and working in Singapore – we invite those who can enter the park to come and make a stand together with all of us this Saturday.