Call by Pink Dot to light up homes to support LGBTQ community does not flout law: MSF

Pink Dot SG rally organisers have called for people to light up their homes in pink at a livestream event on June 27, 2020. PHOTO: PINKDOTSG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A call by organisers of the annual Pink Dot SG rally for people to light up their homes in pink during a livestream event to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community does not contravene any laws or regulations, the authorities said on Wednesday (June 24).

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said the Government has nonetheless "engaged the organisers of Pink Dot and urged them to exercise restraint and be sensitive to the views of others in the community, the majority of whom wish to maintain the traditional family unit as the social norm".

"Our laws and policies reflect these norms," the MSF added.

The MSF's statement comes after two petitions on campaigning site, both started by a user named WS Lin, called on the Government to assign the livestream event a "restricted" rating to prevent children from watching it and to keep the event "out of homes and workplaces".

The petitions were started over the weekend and have received at least 25,000 signatures combined.

The Pink Dot SG event has been held every year since 2009 at Speaker's Corner in Hong Lim Park. It was livestreamed in past years but this year's event on Saturday will be held only online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers said last month.

The MSF also acknowledged in its statement to the media on Wednesday that this year is not the first time the Pink Dot event will be livestreamed, although the ministry did not directly address the petitions.

"The traditional family unit remains the bedrock of our society. At the same time, we recognise that LGBT individuals are part of our society, and they are free to lead their private lives and welcome to contribute fully to our society," the ministry's statement said.

"We urge all parties to be respectful and civil to each other, and avoid stridently pushing their priorities and boundaries, especially now when we need, more than ever, to maintain unity and harmony in society."

Pink Dot SG organisers said in response to queries that the livestream event is focused on "supporting the more vulnerable in the LGBTQ community who are experiencing mental and emotional stress brought about by isolation".

They noted that many members of the LGBTQ community, especially younger ones, were cut off from their support networks during the two-month circuit breaker period in which people were advised to stay at home to stem the spread of Covid-19 here.

The organisers said they hoped the LGBTQ community can feel "seen, heard and loved during these tough times" through the livestream.

The Straits Times has contacted the Infocomm Media Development Authority, which handles media restrictions and ratings, for comment.

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