Bil Browning

Gay Pride: Singapore vs Moscow

Filed By Bil Browning | May 18, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: gay rights, LGBT community, Moscow, pride festival, pride parade, Singapore

Compare and contrast:

Moscow police drug gay rights demonstrators off to jail last weekend after the notoriously anti-gay mayor refused to grant the activists a permit for a pride parade.

In Singapore activists held a peaceful and harmonious rally to raise awareness about diversity. No one was arrested or injured.

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I swear, this looks like the Kansas vs. Oz scenes from the Wizard of Oz. Clearly the world is better in color.

Good juxtaposition Bill. I was following PinkDot from its inception...such a good symbol.. I'm a visualizer. At least there are more countries allowing Pride than denying it, each year.

I don't know if the lesson is about the levels of homophobia in the two countries, or about the freedom of speech generally.

Woah, I'm surprised Singapore's Pink Dot made some news here.

I can't speak for Russia but Singapore is definitely experiencing some sort of revival in LGBT controversies and visibility in the last few months. It began when a group of Christian Fundies from the same church--that has a member who runs Singapore's branch of FotF--were involved in an attempted stealth takeover of a women's non-profit organisation; they were later ousted by members when their mastermind (calling herself "Feminist Mentor") was revealed and they falsely accused the organisation for promoting homosexuality in their sex education programme and other functions.

Shortly after this, Pink Dot happened. The park in which the event was held is the country's official 'Speakers' Corner', kinda the Singapore version of Hyde Park, and practically the only space in which big mass gathering of people involved in an inkling of political cause can publicly gather. Protestors or speakers have to inform the country's National Parks Board (it oversees and maintains all public parks) of any political activity before it can be staged.

I don't think people expected Pink Dot to be able to draw so many supporters in broad daylight. Or at least I sure didn't expect such a turn out when I got there!