Singapore Bans Gay Activists
April 16, 2004
By Peter Hacker, 365Gay.com Newscenter, Asia Bureau Chief
government is trying to shed its image as one of the most conservative areas
in Asia and reinvent itself as a world center for media and the arts, but,
that new image does not extend to gays.
The government this week ordered Singapore’s only gay
rights organization to disband. The government requires all organizations to
be registered. But, when People Like Us, a gay support group, attempted to
register itself as an official society or organization, it was rejected.
People Like Us, which says it has a membership of more
than 1,000 has been pushing for gay rights, mainly over the internet..
Singapore law bans gay sex putting it in the category of
an “act of gross indecency,” although there have been few gay
The government’s Registrar of Societies ordered the
group to halt its activities and issued an official statement saying that
People Like Us was “likely to be used for unlawful purposes or for purposes
prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order.”
The decision was endorsed by the man in charge of
polishing up Singapore’s image.
Singapore isn’t ready to accept gay rights groups said
Vivian Balakrishnan the government minister of state for national development.
“The vast majority of Singaporeans are not ready and
will not accept the formation of groups who may...be seen to promote gay or
alternative lifestyles,” Balakrishnan said
And, he said that banning the group was actually good for
“To stridently go out and campaign (for) the
registration of groups like this will actually be counterproductive to these
groups at this point in time,” Balakrishnan told a news conference.
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