Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs has warned multinational corporations that they should not continue to sponsor an annual gay-rights event.
Pink Dot SG took place Saturday against a backdrop of complaints that it goes against the city-state’s traditional conservative values. The event’s website lists tech giants Facebook, Apple and Google, as well as financial behemoths Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, among its corporate sponsors.
In a statement on its website Tuesday, the ministry said that the Singaporean government generally rejects foreign entities interfering in domestic issues. “These are political, social or moral choices for Singaporeans to decide for ourselves,” it said.
More specifically, the ministry said it would “take steps to make it clear that foreign entities should not fund, support or influence such events” — namely those advocating “the LGBT cause.”
Although not actively enforced, the conservative-minded government retains an official ban on sex between men, and there has recently been censorship of gay themes in the media.
Pink Dot SG — a relatively small event but the nearest thing Singapore has to Pride — has been held since 2009. The organizers say the event helped create greater visibility for Singapore’s LGBT community, while striving to stay within the country’s laws.
In a statement Wednesday, Pink Dot said the event’s corporate sponsors are all registered and incorporated locally, adding: “We are fortunate to count among them admired household names, employers of choice for a sizeable portion of our workforce, inextricably linked with and fully a part of this beautiful fabric we call home.”
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