[Update June 22] Responding to AsiaOne's queries, a spokesperson from Parkroyal Collection Pickering said that the hotel is aware of an email exchange between a staff and a couple in the LGBTQ community enquiring about a wedding celebration, and that a member of their team had made a mistake and "responded with incorrect information".
"We sincerely apologise for the disappointment and inconvenience this has caused," they added. "We have reached out to the couple, and we are heartened that they have accepted our apology."
The hotel said they have taken immediate steps to correct this misinformation with their staff and will continue to review their procedures to ensure that this does not occur again.
"We deeply appreciate the trust and support from the community over the years, and we seek your patience and understanding as we address this matter and continue to improve."
For LGBTQ individuals, Pride Month in June is a time to celebrate the community.
Unfortunately, one celebration didn't go as planned for a lesbian couple who was turned away from Parkroyal Collection Pickering hotel after they tried to book the venue for their wedding celebration.
A screenshot of an email from the hotel to the couple was posted by Proutapp, a support app for the LGBTQ community on Monday (June 20).
"This is particularly disappointing as many within our LGBTQ community regularly book out the rooms at this particular hotel with vertical greenery, and the hotel clearly has no issue capitalising on the annual pride event held at Hong Lim Park, with Pink Dot goers booking out their rooms or their pink dollar," the post wrote.
Other netizens also expressed their distaste towards the establishment located along Upper Pickering Street just opposite Hong Lim Park, making it an ideal accommodation choice for Pink Dot goers.
Criticism of the hotel aside, one netizen pointed out that they might have rejected the venue booking for fear of breaking the law, as Singapore does not recognise same-sex marriages.
That being said, one can hold a same-sex wedding ceremony here but that union cannot be registered with the Registry of Marriages.
On Tuesday (June 21), Parkroyal Collection Pickering made an apology post on their Instagram.
"We are an inclusive hotel, and we are truly sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this may have caused," the post's caption wrote.
The hotel added that they have since reached out to the couple and will "do [their] best to assist them with their special occasion" at the hotel.
In response, the couple has also given a statement through Proutapp, thanking everyone for their support while adding that they will no longer be holding their wedding at Parkroyal Collection Pickering.
"We hope that other hotels will be inspired by Parkroyal Collection Pickering and reconsider their own policies and communications towards allowing same-sex couples to hold their celebrations there," wrote the couple on their post.
Conversely, another local hotel, W Singapore, won the praise of netizens in 2020 when they featured local fashion model Andee Chua together with his Taiwanese boyfriend Hugo Liu enjoying a staycation at their premises.
A spokesperson from W Singapore told AsiaOne then that the post was a repost of user-generated content made by hotel guests.
“We are in the business of welcoming all and occasionally feature guests with their permission on our social platforms,” the spokesperson added.
With regard to LGBTQ policies in Singapore, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said in Parliament in March that the government is currently considering the "best way forward", taking into account differing viewpoints.
Addressing a parliamentary question on the recent Court of Appeal judgment dismissing challenges to Section 377A, Mr Shanmugam noted that one of the things that upsets the LGBT+ community is being rejected and not recognised.
That being said, he also recognised that many still "want to preserve the overall tone of our society" — in particular the traditional view of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
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