Last edited: August 08, 2004

Amsterdam Sails Into Pride, Singapore Draws Record Gay Crowds, August 8, 2004

By Newscenter Staff

Pride erupted into raucous celebrations this weekend on opposite sides of the world.

In Amsterdam, the annual Pride parade took the form of a flotilla of boats and barges down the city’s canals.

More than 350,000 people lined the canals and crowded onto bridges to watch the themed boats go by. Each vessel was sponsored by an LGBT community group or club and by tradition the passengers had to perform an act in line with the central theme. This year it was ‘Amsterdam Pride goes international’.

Amsterdam has a reputation as the world’s most gay friendly city although the growth of Pride celebrations elsewhere in Europe has resulted in fewer foreign tourists in Amsterdam.

The celebration wrapped up with a massive street party.

As Amsterdamers made their way home, on the other side of the globe, Asia’s biggest gay party was just beginning in Singapore.

Gay sex is illegal in Singapore, but over the past few years officials have been reluctant to prosecute and gays from through Asia have turned the city state into a key gay tourist spot.

The opening Pride party drew more than 6000 people according to organizer and regional gay website

Half of the revelers at the party in the Suntec City Convention Center were mainly from neighboring countries including Thailand, Taiwan and Japan.

Even though the government is not prosecuting gays Singapore has refused to decriminalize homosexual acts because of opposition from the conservative majority Chinese population as well as from Malay Muslims.

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