Thousands gather for annual Pink Dot rally

Thousands gather for annual Pink Dot rally
Participants at yesterday's LGBT event forming a shimmering, giant pink dot - with the word "LOVE" in the centre - with torches, cellphones and light sticks.

Despite a light drizzle, thousands gathered at Hong Lim Park yesterday for the seventh Pink Dot event.

The annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rally promotes the "freedom to love" regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Organisers estimated there were 28,000 people present.

Men and women dressed in various shades of pink were treated to performances by local artistes and also heard from seven speakers - including Mr Alvin Tan, an HIV-positive gay man, and transgender Christopher Khor - about issues such as social acceptance of homosexuality.

At 7.45pm, they all held up torches to form the traditional "pink dot".

At a press conference before the event, spokesman Paerin Choa said a 35-second promotional clip featuring footage from last year's rally had been given a "Not Allowed For All Ratings" classification by the Media Development Authority (MDA). This bars it from public screening and distribution in Singapore.

The organisers had intended to have the promotional clip screened at some cinemas of Cathay Organisation, one of the event's corporate sponsors.

Mr Choa said the video had no objectionable scenes, but the MDA had said it would not rate anything that supports or does not support the LGBT cause.

Pointing to this as an example of discrimination against the LGBT community, he said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was mistaken when he told regional journalists earlier this month that Singapore does not harass or discriminate against the community.

"I think he needs to come to Pink Dot to hear what these people are going through on a daily basis," he said.

Aside from Cathay, the event's other sponsors included social media giant Twitter, news organisation Bloomberg, Google, JP Morgan and BP.

This article was first published on June 14, 2015.
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