Ramadan, meet Gay Pride

They met in Singapore, for one.

Pink Dot has been held every year since 2009. Attendees wear pink clothing and sit down for a mass picnic that ends with the forming of a pink dot.

But this year it falls on the eve of Ramadan, prompting an Islamic teacher to start a Wear White campaign against homosexuality, which has been supported by a Christian organisation.

Gay sex is illegal in Singapore.

I love it when Christians join with Muslims to oppose other people’s sexual orientations.

The Pink Dot rally proceeded peacefully on Saturday evening with no sign of anti-gay campaigners. Organisers said 26,000 people attended the event.

Wear White issued a statement saying it discouraged supporters from attending Pink Dot, as “it should be an event that no Muslim is associated with”.

Some chose to go online instead to protest at the event.

About 4,000 people so far have taken part in a virtual rally called FamFestSG. Its Facebook page carries a quote from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that defines the term family as “one man one woman marrying, having children”.

The backlash has reignited the issue of gay rights in the largely conservative city-state.

That’s a pretty hopeful outcome, all told.


  1. says

    I love it when Christians join with Muslims to oppose other people’s sexual orientations.

    It adds irony to the phrase ‘strange bedfellows’.

    Meanwhile, heterosexual prostitution is legal in Singapore’s huge red light district, and and many of those working are foreigners, mainly girls PRC working without visas or legal protection. It was only in recent years that the minimum age for working went from 16 to 18, but underage girls are still employed forced into it.



    Singapore’s gay community is large, and the government seems to be keeping a “hands off”/”no policy” policy. But elected politicians change, and so can the laws they write. Vigilance and support are needed.


  2. miraxpath says

    My 13year old niece and I went to the Pink Dot this year. It was in solidarity against the religious bigots who crawled out of the woodwork this year in particular to rail against the gays. We had bever been to a pride event before. It was good fun!

    The government here may be tacitly prodding some of the religious conservatives to speak against the gays as some of the most prominent critics of the government – human rights lawyer M Ravi, opposition politician Vincent Wijeysingha, bloggers and activists Alex Au and Roy Ngerng- are gay. Opposition politicians supported and attended the pride event but none from the ruling party turned up. Muslims who have been in the news for speaking against gay rights have turned out to be members of the ruling party (a local university lecturer who thinks lesbians are cancers). One extremist muslim, Zulfikar Shariff, who fled to Australia in 2002 for agitating for the hijab for school girls (he then beleived the government was about to arrest him) has quietly been allowed to return to Singapore and is furiously blogging away, railing against the gays. This is highly unusual – our ‘dissidents’ normally can’t return with impunity. The four brave souls I mentioned above have all at faced government displeasure and been the subject of lawsuits initiated by government politicians.

  3. miraxpath says

    Religious people aren’t all the same. Buddhists and Hindus here are socially conservative too but they simply dont invest in all that anti-gay emotions the xtians and muslims do. They have never spoken out against the gay ”agenda” or organised against them. I am really grateful that the majority population here is Buddhist!

    This year, the NCC (national council of churches), Muis (state department that is governing body for muslims) and the bloody fucking archbishop have all issued their opinions on the gay issue. To a man, they are strenuously against gay rights but wish to treat those ‘afflicted’ with same sex desires with ‘kindness’.

  4. miraxpath says

    As for Ramadan. I am having a couple of muslim friends over in about 10 minutes for drinks and dinner. They are pretty close to apostates and don’t fast (but pretend to when they are with relatives) and I am glad for their freedom to do as they wish. Non conformimg muslims have it much tougher in so many muslim majority countries.

  5. iknklast says

    defines the term family as “one man one woman marrying, having children

    Now they don’t only get to determine that a same-sex couple can’t form a family, they deny my husband and I the right to be considered family. We are one man and one woman, but we had no children (except my son from a previous marriage, but that counts as family with my ex, not my current).

    Such parochial, patriarchal ideas keep women (and men) from achieving complete happiness. I suppose that’s the idea. If you’re happy in your family, you don’t need invisible friends.

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