Ikea to continue tie-up with magic show despite gay activists' opposition

Ikea to continue tie-up with magic show despite gay activists' opposition

IKEA Singapore has decided to continue its tie-up with a magic show performed by a pastor who is known for his strong anti-homosexuality views, The Straits Times reported.

The furniture retailer received backlash from gay rights activists on Monday after it announced an offer of discounted tickets to IKEA members for the magic show Vision, which will be performed by pastor Lawrence Khong of Faith Community Baptist Church and his daughter Priscilla at the Esplanade in July.

According to My Paper, Ms Jean Chong, co-founder of women's gay rights group Sayoni said she wanted to discourage the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from patronising "businesses that promote homophobia".

Meanwhile, Ms Olivia Chiong, a blogger who writes about same-sex parenting, said IKEA Singapore's support "contradicts the brand's public and global stand for diversity and equal rights over the last 20 years".

In a Facebook post on Tuesday evening, IKEA Singapore said that it decided to do a thorough review of the incident after numerous questions were raised by members of the public.

IKEA said it "spoke directly with the organisers, reviewed the content and confirmed that the Vision show offers high family entertainment value, therefore we will be continuing our promotion."

The company added that it "respects the diversity and equality of all people living in our community. (IKEA) also respects that all individuals have a right to their opinions and personal choices, including the freedom to choose their preferred entertainment."

Mr Khong's church did not respond to queries by local media.

Besides speaking out against homosexuality, the pastor had pledged his support for a campaign to "wear white" to protest against the LGBT event Pink Dot last year.

minlee@sph.sg

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