Ikea Singapore reviewing support for pastor's magic show after backlash from gay rights groups

SINGAPORE - Furniture retailer Ikea Singapore is reviewing its support for a magic show staged by a pastor known for his views against homosexuality, a spokesman told The Straits Times on Monday.

This comes after a backlash over the weekend from gay rights groups, who are unhappy that the retailer's membership programme, Ikea Family, is one of the supporters of pastor-magician Lawrence Khong's magic show in July.

Members of Ikea Family can obtain discounted rates for Mr Khong's show, Vision, which he is staging along with his daughter Priscilla.

But Ms Jean Chong, the co-founder of women's gay rights group Sayoni, said that Ikea's support for the event "raises the question if Ikea is truly committed to diversity worldwide", according to an article published on international LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) news portal Gay Star News.

In response to an unhappy customer on its Facebook page, Ikea said: "We are really sorry for the unhappiness this has caused. We have taken it to our management and they are reviewing it. We'll come back when we have more information."

An Ikea spokesman had reportedly told Gay Star News over the weekend that Ikea Family is promoting the show on its website, but not funding it.

"Vision is offering our Family members a discount on tickets to a theatrical illusion performance that offers high family entertainment value," she said.

Mr Khong, the 63-year-old senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church, has been outspoken about his views against homosexuality. Last year, he pledged support for a Islamic religious teacher's campaign to "wear white", in protest against the annual LGBT picnic Pink Dot.