Gay protest at Hong Lim Park postponed

Source: Straits Times
1 Nov 2008

Gay protest to be held at later date
Speakers’ Corner event on Nov 15 postponed to cater to strong response
By Kor Kian Beng

SINGAPORE’s first outdoor gay protest at Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park on Nov15 has been postponed to early next year.

Organiser Roy Tan, 50, a Singaporean who initiated the event, yesterday cited the overwhelming response from the gay community as a key reason for the date change.

The event was being postponed ‘to ensure that all interested parties – straight, gay and queer – have the opportunity to participate in this landmark occasion’, he said in a statement e-mailed to the media.

Many members of the gay community have expressed interest in taking part, he told The Straits Times when contacted.

A number of those who are backing the event also want to help him organise it, said Mr Tan, who works in the health-care industry.

An organising committee has now been set up.

Said Mr Tan: ‘We’re postponing it so we can have more time to organise a better event.’

He declined to comment on a new date, the number of interested participants and organisers, and whether there would be changes to the programme.

More details will be released later, he said.

Mr Tan registered with the National Parks Board (NParks) in September to stage the Nov15 event.

He will now let the Nov15 date lapse and make a fresh application closer to the new date.

When he first registered to stage the event, which he described as a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual) pride parade, he said it would feature speeches on gay rights.

Participants would march around the park with placards to protest against Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises homosexual sex. There was also to be a public forum on the difficulties that gay Singaporeans here face.

Mr Tan said he was keeping the event as a Singaporeans-only activity. This was to avoid having to apply for a police permit, which is required if foreigners were to speak or participate in or organise activities at the park.

With the Government moving to relax the rules at Speakers’ Corner as of Sept1, applicants need only register online with NParks before they speak or stage a demonstration.

But they have to state the topic of their speech or demonstration, as issues such as race and religion remain out of bounds.

1 Response to “Gay protest at Hong Lim Park postponed”

  1. 1 Sidney Lim 17 November 2008 at 1:19 am

    Wow… look for to it.

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