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Charissa Yong
Sunday, Aug 17, 2014

Singapore

Police reject ‘Pink Run’ application

The Straits Times | Charissa Yong | Sunday, Aug 17, 2014

The police have turned down an application for a permit to hold a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) pride event, informing the organiser that the application had been rejected in the interest of public order, as LGBT advocacy remains "a socially divisive issue".

This is the second time the run titled "Pink Run" has been unable to go ahead. The first was in 2007. This year's run was to have been held tomorrow morning at the Marina Promenade Park as part of an annual LGBT pride festival called IndigNation.

On the event's Facebook page, organiser Nicholas Deroose shared the e-mail he had received from the police.

"The purpose of the proposed event you have stated in your application is related to LGBT advocacy, which remains a socially divisive issue. We regret to inform you that your application is rejected in the interest of public order. You may wish to consider conducting your event at the Speakers' Corner instead," an officer from the Compliance Management Unit wrote.

Mr Deroose also wrote: "People are still free to show up and run in their own personal capacity. There are no laws against running. You just won't be a participant of the Pink Run."

Civil society activist Vincent Wijeysingha wrote on his website: "It should be asked of the police how a run might promote public disorder or limit public order."

In a response to media queries, the police said that "those who wish to advocate for potentially divisive cause-related issues can do so at the Speakers' Corner, which is the designated public place for such activities, to avoid inconveniencing the general public, or leading to contention or potential public order issues".

In June, the annual Pink Dot mass picnic was attended by a record 26,000 people, and drew strong opposition from religious groups, who responded with a campaign to champion pro-family values.

charyong@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Aug 15, 2014.
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