Police turn down permit application for "Pink Run" LGBT event

SINGAPORE - 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 that the event, a mass run titled "Pink Run", has been unable to go ahead as planned. The first was in 2007.

This year's run was to have been held on Aug 16 as part of an annual LGBT pride festival called IndigNation.

On the event's Facebook page, organiser Nicholas Deroose shared the email 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," a police officer from the Compliance Management Unity wrote.

In Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Deroose 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 activist Vincent Wijeysingha criticised the turn of events on his website, writing: "It should be asked of the police how a run might promote public disorder or limit public order...this so-called divisive issue is firmly a part of the public discourse."

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 by organising a Wear White campaign to champion pro-family values.