- Title: Singapore bans foreigners from attending gay rally, participants unfazed
- Date: 31st May 2017
- Summary: SINGAPORE (MAY 30, 2017) (REUTERS) SINGAPORE SKYLINE VARIOUS OF ADELINE YEO FROM SINGAPORE AND MAJA WIS FROM POLAND WALKING HAND IN HAND ADELINE AND MAJA ENTERING BUILDING HOSTING PINK DOT LAUNCH EVENT PINK DOT 2017 LOGO PARTICIPANT IN LOBBY OF EVENT VENUE ADELINE AND MAJA WALKING INTO TO VENUE PINK DOT LAUNCH EVENT ABOUT TO START ADELINE AND MAJA SEATED ADELINE AND MAJA TAKING SELFIE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 36-YEAR-OLD MAJA WIS FROM POLAND SAYING: "I think it's unfair to people who have lived here for many many years but who do not happen to be PRs (Permanent Resident) or Singaporeans. And I mean I only came here a couple months ago fair enough but I know people who are in LGBT community and who have lived here, actually who are born here but are not Singaporeans, are not PRs and they can't come this year so itâ€™s a bit like saying that these people are better than others." VARIOUS OF PINK DOT SPOKESPERSON PAERIN CHOA SPEAKING ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 29-YEAR-OLD ADELINE YEO FROM SINGAPORE SAYING: "It feels a little bit hostile but at the same time I trust in the organisers to make it feel as open and as welcoming as they can and let's not let the barriers contain us really, like we're not going. I'm not going to put her in risk of the law by saying come down to Pink Dot, I will say don't come to Pink Dot but at the same time we should as Singaporeans fill those barriers as much as possible until they cannot let another person in." VARIOUS OF PINK DOT SPOKESPERSON PAERIN CHOA SPEAKING ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) PINK DOT SPOKESPERSON, PAERIN CHOA, SAYING: "I think Singapore is in a very interesting crossroad this year. There are these rules that are put in place where this year is the year for Singaporeans to make a stand, to make a stand, to show that this is the change that they want effected, this is the Singapore that they want to be and it is this year that they have to come out to show the world, to show Singapore that they are all ready for a truly inclusive and truly diverse Singapore and this might be the turning point for the LGBT movement and Pink Dot in Singapore."
- Embargoed: 14th June 2017 12:15
- Keywords: LGBT Pink Dot foreigners changes to the law
- Location: SINGAPORE
- City: SINGAPORE
- Country: Singapore
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J64N5X
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:After moving to Singapore two months ago, couple Adeline Yeo and Maja Wis were looking forward to participating in the city state's annual gay pride event.
But organizers of the July 1 Pink Dot rally have warned foreigners and those who are not permanent residents of the city-state to steer clear of this year's event, following rule changes aimed at keeping foreigners out of domestic politics.
Adeline from Singapore and Maja from Poland have been together for almost two years and have participated in similar events London and Berlin.
Maja says she is disappointed and feels it is unfair for people who have been living in Singapore for many years to suddenly be banned from the event.
Foreigners have never been legally allowed to participate rallies in Singapore but many have got around the rule by "observing" such events.
Organizers said on Wednesday (May 30) they've raised $253,000SGD ($183,000USD) from more than 100 local companies for the rally where participants are encouraged to gather at the "Speaker's Corner" downtown, wearing pink and turning on pink flashlights.
However they also announced they would have to put up barricades to make sure foreigners don't come in.
"I'm not going to put her in risk of the law by saying come down to Pink Dot, I will say don't come to Pink Dot but at the same time we should as Singaporeans fill those barriers as much as possible until they cannot let another person in," Adeline said.
Under Singapore law, sex between men is punishable by up to two years in jail, though prosecutions are rare.
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