Humanist Society (Singapore) attends Pink Dot 2012

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 10 September 2012

In the spirit of the rationalism and compassion, the group hopes to raise awareness of discrimination faced by LGBT people in Singapore.

On June 30, 2012, about 20 members and fans from the Humanist Society (Singapore) (HSS) attended Pink Dot 2012, continuing a tradition that some of its members have done since 2009 in their personal capacities, even before the HSS was officially formed. 

Pink Dot is an annual social gathering which celebrates the freedom to love and seeks to raise awareness of the discrimination faced by Singapore’s sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people) (LGBTs). 

In the conservative city state of Singapore, studies have estimated that more than half the population do not have a favourable view towards homosexual people. Many of them are influenced by religious interpretations or affected by sheer ignorance of the biology behind different sexual orientations.

The country criminalises sex between gay men under the section 377a, a legislation that dates back to British colonial rule (1819-1963). Back in 2007, attempts by LGBT activists and concerned parliamentarians to repeal section 377a was met with stiff opposition from conservatives both offline and online. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, however, told Parliament that while section 377a will be retained, it will not be actively enforced.

Today, Singaporeans are slowly changing their views of LGBTs. As a organisation rooted in rationality and compassion, the HSS hopes to do our part in generating awareness of the prejudices and misunderstandings faced by Singapore’s sexual minorities. Thus, we made a commitment to attend the Pink Dot every year.

At the picnic this year, our volunteers provided picnic mats, ice-boxes, snacks, card games and balloons. Some of our own humanist pink t-shirts were sold at the event too. We enjoyed performances by local celebrities who appeared on stage to show support for Pink Dot.

The HSS is glad that Pink Dot 2012 is a great success. An estimated 15,000 people turned up on the day itself at Singapore’s Speakers Corner, the only place in the city-state where demonstrations are legalised. We hope that such efforts will continue and perhaps one day, all LGBT people in Singapore will finally enjoy the freedom to love without prejudice and discrimination.

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