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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Six-pack hunks: more than Singapore can bare?
By Eveline Danubrata
15 December 2011

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A woman poses for photographs with a shirtless model outside a department store in Singapore's Orchard Road shopping district December 14, 2011. REUTERS-Claro Cortes IV

(Reuters) - Shirtless men clad in red sweatpants have been lining up for days in Singapore's prime shopping district, part of an advertising gimmick revealing not just muscle but also a gradual unpeeling of the city state's puritanical ways.

The feverish reception given the "shirtless greeters" by the Singapore public, both in real life and online, where it has gone viral in social media, signals how the notoriously conservative city-state has been loosening up in recent years, experts said. On a recent evening, women stood with the men for pictures, touching them on the chest or receiving a friendly embrace. One even jumped up on a greeter's back.

The men, from the United States, Europe and Asia, are on a mission to drum up excitement for fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F)'s flagship store in Singapore, which opened on Thursday, using a campaign also employed overseas. "There's no way such advertisements that push the envelope slightly would have appeared about 30 years ago," said M. Thiyagarajan, a senior lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic's business school who specializes in advertising and public relations. "I think as a society we have moved to a different level. We are far more accepting of such things." He cited the spread of the internet, education and overseas travel as factors that have helped open minds in Singapore, which officially is still such a strict society that a ban on sales of chewing gum was renewed last year.

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Local theatres have recently staged plays exploring traditionally controversial themes such as homosexuality and religion. Gay sex can still lead to a jail term of up to two years, although such laws are rarely enforced. In October, a performance by French dancer Sylvie Guillem also contained "some scenes of upper body female nudity."

However, conservatives in the city-state are still making their voices heard. A letter to the editor in a local paper last month complained about naming an orchid after singer Elton John, asking if homosexuality was to be "openly encouraged and endorsed by the government?"

In September, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore told A&F to remove a giant billboard showing a naked male torso after some members of the public complained that it was too racy. "It is probably the response of a vocal minority, a storm in a teacup, who would use any occasion, however small, to raise the alarm," said Tan Ern Ser, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore's sociology department.

The shirtless greeters appear, for now, to be reaping more positive than negative attention. "I think it's a pretty effective way to publicize the brand leading up to its launch, and I like how it's an outdoor campaign which has taken its own life online," said Cathryn Neo, a recruitment consultant. "And I do find them hot."

(Editing by Elaine Lies and Jonathan Thatcher)
Source: Reuters.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Sex addiction film too hot for Singapore
23 April 2012

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Writer/Director Steve McQueen arrives at "Shame" Gala Screening in 2011 in Hollywood, California.

AFP - An acclaimed film on sex addiction will not be shown in Singapore after censors ordered a threesome between the main character and two women to be shortened, its local distributor said Monday.

"Shame" by British director Steve McQueen was submitted to censors of the Media Development Authority (MDA), who rated it suitable only for viewers 21 and above on condition the scene was edited. "They did not request for the entire scene to be cut, just that they felt the scene was too long," said a spokeswoman for distributor Cathay-Keris Films.

"Mr McQueen feels that it is important for his work to be seen in the way it was intended and hence was... not agreeable to have his film be cut in any way," she told AFP. "We respect his decision and as such this film will not be able to be released in Singapore theatrically."

"Shame" was nominated for "Outstanding British Film" in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards held in February. Lead actor Michael Fassbender was nominated for best actor in both the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes for his portrayal of protagonist Brandon Sullivan.

The MDA had no comment when contacted by AFP but in remarks to the Straits Times newspaper, the agency said: "We are of the view that the prolonged and explicit threesome sex sequence has exceeded our classification guidelines."

Alex Au, a Singaporean social critic, assailed the MDA. "If the MDA thinks that a three-way sex scene is too 'prolonged and explicit', what does that actually mean?" he wrote on his blog. "We boast of being 'first-world' and speak of striving to be 'world-class' in this and that, while quietly engaging in third-world autocratic methods as if there is no contradiction."

Singapore has strict guidelines governing explicit content in media and still bans publications such as Playboy magazine. Film ratings have been relaxed in recent years but they are still based on principles including "generally accepted social mores", "national interest" and "racial/religious harmony," according to the MDA Board of Film Censors website.

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Michael Fassbinder's full frontal in "Shame"

I would have thought the Singapore film board would have had more problems with Michael waving his fun bits constantly about full screen... And a bit of grooming would make it look much nicer, IMO.

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:o Can we see that in the erect version, please? :happy0192:

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:03 pm 
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Under-age call girl scandal shakes Singapore elite
Saturday, April 28th, 2012

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Shaw (left) and Chua were charged in court on Wednesday with two others for paying a minor for sex

SINGAPORE (AFP) — An unfolding scandal over an under-age call girl has shaken Singapore’s political and economic elite after businessmen, civil servants and uniformed officers were charged in the case.

Prostitution is legal in Singapore, but 48 men ranging in age from their early 20s to late 40s have so far been charged under a 2008 law making it a crime to pay for sex with a girl under 18.

Singapore has long been perceived as a conservative, even prudish, city-state but it has a thriving sex industry dating back to its beginnings as a key trading port of the then British empire. The latest case has shone a spotlight on its pragmatic approach, which instead of seeking to close down the sex industry aims to tightly regulate the trade to protect minors and ward off criminal involvement.

An elementary school principal who pleaded guilty to engaging the under-aged girl’s services became the first to be punished when a district court on Friday sentenced him to nine weeks in jail for the offense. Among the remaining accused are five foreigners including Juerg Buergin, a 40-year-old Swiss expatriate who had worked for banking giant UBS. The most prominent of the Singaporeans charged is Howard Shaw, a high-society figure and grandson of Runme Shaw, co-founder of cinema and property empire Shaw Organisation, which is also active in charity causes.

The gossip mill went into overdrive when it was disclosed that Shaw, a 41-year-old with two daughters from his first marriage, had sex with the teenager just a month before tying the knot with his second wife, a former beauty contestant still in her 20s. The two appeared on a recent cover of high-society magazine Singapore Tatler as the poster couple for an article on “great romances” among the rich and famous in the city-state.

Singapore websites and social media are swirling with speculation that more men will be charged even as the identity of the girl, only 17 when she had dalliances with the accused, is being concealed by court order. People have also been sharing purported pictures and salacious descriptions of the girl, described by a defence lawyer as a “hardcore prostitute”.

But apart from generating juicy gossip, the high-profile case has also won the authorities plaudits for their rigorous handling of the issue. “This is the first time that cases of obtaining paid sex from a girl under the age of 18 has been exposed and enforced on such a large scale,” said rights group the Singapore committee for UN Women. Singapore’s legalization of the sex trade makes it a “pragmatic” and “unusual” exception in a region where prostitution thrives but is officially banned, said Reuben Wong, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore. The under-age prostitution scandal was “an embarrassment for Singapore as a society, because it has such a squeaky clean, puritan image,” but reflected well on the state’s strict laws on the sex business, he said.

Brothels operate openly in Singapore in the notorious Geylang red light district, and self-declared prostitutes are required to undergo health checks. “We recognize that it is not possible to eradicate it and forcing it underground will lead to the greater likelihood of involvement by triads and organized crime, the trafficking of women, and public health risks,” Ho Peng Kee, then a top official of the interior ministry, told parliament in 2009. Wong told AFP: “Prostitution was legalized to bring this sector under close government control — for economic, moral, tax reasons…. The main overarching theme is we keep it under government control.”

Source: AFP via Inquirer Singapore.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:35 am 
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Singapore's Miss Universe to Admit Women With Sex Change
July 30, 2012

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Singapore -- It's official. Singapore's Miss Universe pageant is now open to contenders who used to be a Mr.

Women who have had a sex change will be allowed to apply from next year, the beauty pageant's organizer said on Sunday.

Traditionally, only natural-born females aged between 18 and 27 are allowed entry to the contest, which is co-owned by United States real estate mogul Donald Trump and television network NBC. Hopefuls compete in national editions before taking part in an international pageant.

The game change was sparked by an outcry earlier this year after a Canadian transgender contestant was disqualified from her country's contest. She was eventually allowed to return to the competition. Derrol Stepenny Promotions, which runs the Republic's edition of the international contest, said at the time that it was considering allowing those who had undergone a sex change to compete. It confirmed the move at the unveiling of this year's finalists on Sunday. The new rule will be implemented worldwide from next year, but a spokesman for the company said it was still waiting for specific instructions about the change from the competition's parent organization.

Derrol Stepenny Promotions managing director and organizing chairman Errol Pang said having transgender contestants could be "a good thing or a disaster" for the local edition, but urged sponsors to continue their support.

Some said they would have to examine the specifics of the change before committing to next year's contest. A spokesman for Jog Swimwear, a France-based firm that is providing costumes for this year's Singapore finalists, said: "Transgender people are very common in Asia, but I don't know if our headquarters will agree to sponsorship next year."

The Derrol Stepenny Promotions spokesman added that the new rule means natural-born hopefuls will have to work harder to win the crown. "They will be competing against transgender women who have had plastic surgery," she said. "It will be up to them to compete in other ways besides through their natural beauty, for example through their wit and intelligence."

Jean Chong, co-founder of Sayoni, an online platform for lesbian, bisexual and transsexual Asian women, lauded the change but said it did not address the bread-and-butter problems of the community here. "Not being able to get jobs is one of the biggest problems they face. There should be a law to make such discrimination illegal among employers," she said.

The rule change means this year's local pageant in September at the Shangri-La Hotel will be the last to officially showcase only natural-born women here. The 14 finalists unveiled on Sunday included students and a wide range of professionals, including a social entrepreneur, a mergers and acquisitions associate and a marine fuels trader. The winner will represent Singapore at the international pageant in December. Its location has not been announced.

Source: Straits Times via Jakarta Globe.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Singaporean Men Practicing Risky Sex in Batam, Study Reveals
by Janice Tai
September 24, 2012

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Sex workers from entertainment joints being trained by staff from Batam non-governmental groups Yayasan Lintas Nusa and Yayasan Komunikasi Informasi Edukasi Batam on practicing safe sex. (Photo courtesy of Batam HIV AIDS Commission).

Singapore -- About 60 percent of sex workers in Batam, Riau Islands, have Singaporean clients, and only one in four of these clients use condoms regularly.

These are some of the key findings in a recent study by migrant welfare group Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (Home) and non-governmental organizations in Batam.

Bridget Tan, president of Home, said the main aim of the study was to look into the practicing of safe sex among Batam's sex workers, and how that data could help shed light on cross-border human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in Singapore. "There is nothing new about Singaporeans going to Batam for sex, but now we know the magnitude of the potential HIV problem that involves Singaporeans; before we did not know much about their numbers or their condom use," she said.

The survey did not elicit the reasons Singaporeans shunned practicing safe sex.

But Donovan Lo, executive director of non-governmental group Action for Aids cited studies showing lower condom use among Singaporeans abroad mainly because sex workers abroad are less likely to initiate condom use. "So Singaporean men need to exercise more responsibility for themselves when they are away," he said, adding that his organization has encountered men who were diagnosed with HIV after patronizing sex workers overseas. He noted that the Singapore men who visit Batam for such trysts are mostly older Chinese men, but there is an increasing number of younger Malay males.

The survey interviewed 300 sex workers; about half were from four of the eight sex farms in Batam and the rest worked in entertainment joints, such as bars or clubs. There are about 5,500 sex workers in Batam. Conducted in April this year, the survey included questions such as when they began working in the sex industry, if they were forced into the trade, and if they practiced safe sex. Of the 300, 29 percent said they were forced or tricked into the sex trade, and 3 percent said they came into the industry underage, or below 18.

The study also outlines several recommendations, and Home has since submitted the study to the authorities. The recommendations include running a nationwide No Condom, No Sex campaign to promote safe sex among Singaporeans who have multiple sex partners.

The latest available figures from 2007 show that about 9 percent of Batam's sex workers are HIV-positive. Another recommendation set out in the report is to create greater awareness among Singaporeans through the media that they are running afoul of the law if they have underage sex, even if it takes place abroad.

Under Section 376C, those who seek and pay for sex with a minor who is under 18 outside Singapore can be jailed for up to seven years, fined or both. The police said no Singaporean has been charged with having paid sex with a minor overseas for the past three years.

Source: The Straits Times via Jakarta Globe.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:10 am 
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Student sex blog causes stir in Singapore, Malaysia
19 October 2012

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Alvin Tan, 24, and his Malaysian girlfriend Vivian Lee, 23

AFP - A young Malaysian couple have sparked a scandal in Singapore and Malaysia after posting a sexually explicit blog that challenges conservative values in both countries.

Alvin Tan, 24, a law student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and his Malaysian girlfriend Vivian Lee, 23, have been denounced by critics over their X-rated blog called "Sumptuous Erotica". In it the couple posted erotic photographs and videos of their lovemaking as well as close-ups of their genitals -- and despite an outcry remained unrepentant, claiming they had done no wrong. Pornography is illegal in Singapore and Malaysia, with even men's magazines like Playboy and Penthouse banned.

In the blog, which went offline Tuesday -- but not before some images had been posted on other websites -- the couple declared that sex is a natural reproductive process that does not deserve the stigma attached to it. The NUS confirmed Friday that it will question Tan at a disciplinary board hearing, with Singaporean netizens demanding his expulsion from the university and the cancellation of his government-funded scholarship. "The University does not condone posting of offensive content online by any member of the NUS community," a spokesperson told AFP.

Singapore's education ministry, which administers scholarships, said in a statement emailed to AFP that it "takes a serious view of the conduct of the student concerned", and also branded the blog offensive. Senior Malaysian officials have also waded into the fray after the blog became a hot issue in the country's media. Information Minister Rais Yatim said Malaysia has "legal redress" under the Communications and Multimedia Act, which governs Internet content in the country. "But we would rather not use that first until and unless we get the results of what the Singaporean authorities are pursuing first," Rais was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.

In Singapore, government officials have not issued any comment but social media sites were filled with calls to revoke Tan's scholarship. "NUS, pls expel the kid and someone pls revoke his scholarship. This is not the kind of things we want to promote in (Singapore) and definitely, we should discourage it," Yvonne Wong posted on Facebook.

Viewers who try to access the blog are now being asked to submit their names and email addresses if they want updates from the couple. In a video posted on YouTube, Tan and Lee, both fully dressed, explained their decision to take the blog offline. "We actually shut down the blog because of family pressure," Lee said. Tan added: "Yes, we will continue doing what we love doing. But it's more of a question of timing. We probably won't continue again so soon from now."

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Singapore couple challenge law on gay sex
30 November 2012

SINGAPORE (AP) -- A gay couple filed a constitutional challenge in a Singapore court on Friday aimed at repealing a long-standing law that criminalizes gay sex.

Gay activists say the government has become more tolerant toward gays and lesbians in recent years, but that under Singapore law, gay sex is deemed "an act of gross indecency," punishable by a maximum of two years in jail.

The couple, Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee, filed their challenge with Singapore's High Court. Chee said they did so not because of any immediate fears, but because "I know that section 377A labels me a criminal."

The case comes after a man was arrested in August for having oral sex with another man in a shopping mall toilet. When he applied to have the law declared unconstitutional as it violated his right to personal liberty, the charge was converted to a different section of the law governing obscene acts in a public place. The man was subsequently fined 3,000 Singapore dollars ($2,460).

Choo Zhengxi, one of the lawyers representing Lim and Chee, said citizens in Singapore are legally allowed to make such challenges if they belong to a group that is believed to be discriminated by any law that violates personal rights.

Sujith Kumar, a 24-year old student and co-founder of Purple Alliance, a group that advocates for equal rights among the gay community in Singapore, said he supports the legal challenge because the current law "irrationally criminalizes the gay community."

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Singapore gay couple seeks to abolish gay sex law
13 February 2013
By HEATHER TAN

SINGAPORE (AP) -- A gay couple in Singapore seeking to abolish a long-standing law banning gay sex had their case heard in court Thursday, just days after a former department store manager sued his boss for alleged discrimination against homosexuals.

The two cases highlight how members of Singapore's gay community have become increasingly vocal, demanding changes in the city-state's attitudes toward homosexuality by speaking out against discrimination and raising legal cases to challenge the law. Singapore's High Court held its first full hearing Thursday in a case brought by Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee.

Peter Low and Choo Zheng Xi, the lawyers representing Lim and Chee, said the couple hopes to have the law banning gay sex declared unconstitutional. Singapore law criminalizes sex between mutually consenting adult men, and offenders can be jailed for up to two years.

On Monday, Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San, a former manager at Robinsons department store, filed a lawsuit claiming his former boss had harassed him into leaving his job because he did not agree with his homosexuality. Robinsons denied any "biasness," "unfair treatment" or "persecution" by anyone at the store, or that Wee faced "difficulties" or "threats" when he wanted to leave the company.

Gay rights are not widely accepted in largely conservative Singapore. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the issue at a conference last month.

"Why is that law on the books? Because it's always been there and I think we just leave it," he said. "These are not issues that we can settle one way or the other, and it's really best for us just to leave them be, and just agree to disagree. I think that's the way Singapore will be for a long time."

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:00 pm 
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:yeahright:

Hmph. Ignoring a "problem" doesn't make it go away. And neither will this. Better deal with it positively or have paradise spoiled?

Idiots.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:01 pm 
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With law against him, Singapore pol says he's gay
2 July 2013
By SATISH CHENEY

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In this Saturday, June 29, 2013 photo released by Pink Dot SG rally organizers, Singapore's first openly gay politician, Vincent Wijeysingha, a member of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party, speaks to reporters at the annual Pink Dot SG rally in support of gay rights in Singapore's Hong Lim Park. (AP Photo/Pink Dot SG)

SINGAPORE (AP) -- This conservative city-state convicted men for homosexual behavior as recently as seven years ago, and the British colonial-era law it used is still on the books.

Singapore's government shows no interest in making a change: The prime minister's advice has been to just let things be. Opposition official Vincent Wijeysingha isn't taking that advice. On his Facebook page last week, he became the first Singaporean politician to come out of the closet, and he is advocating for the law to be scrapped.

He told The Associated Press on Monday that although the government resists decriminalizing homosexuality, "society will eventually overtake it on this question." "I am entirely convinced the law will eventually be repealed," said Wijeysingha (wee-jay-sing-ga), treasurer of the Singapore Democratic Party.

The decades-old law makes "gross indecency" between men punishable by up to two years in prison. It has not been actively enforced in recent years, but 185 men were convicted under the law between 1997 and 2006, according to government data. Complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation have become less common in Singapore, a Southeast Asian economic powerhouse of about 5 million. But until a decade ago, government policies barred gays from "sensitive positions" in the civil service and strictly censored gay-related content in movies and TV shows.

Gay rights have grown around the world; more than a dozen countries and 13 U.S. states now allow same-sex marriage. But according to the United Nations, about 75 countries continue to criminalize homosexual behavior; in a few of them, it is punishable by death.

Singapore's High Court in April rejected a bid by a gay couple to scrap the city-state's law, ruling that Parliament should be responsible for making any changes. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said earlier this year that these were "not issues that we can settle one way or the other, and it's really best for us just to leave them be, and just agree to disagree."

Gay-rights activists said that is unacceptable to a growing number of Singaporeans. They noted that Saturday's Pink Dot gay advocacy rally drew more than 20,000 people to a Singaporean park, the best showing for the event held yearly since 2009. The rally played a role in Wijeysingha's announcement. He had spoken at past forums on gay issues, and associates and friends had known that he is gay, but he confirmed it publicly on his Facebook page by saying "yes, I am going to Pink Dot ... and yes, I am gay."

"It's the first time he has said it so explicitly in public," said Siew Kum Hong, a lawyer and political commentator. "To that extent, it does show that Singapore society is opening up more, since he obviously does not think that it is fatal to his electoral chances."

Baey Yam Keng, a lawmaker from the ruling People's Action Party, said that although he is unsure how most Singaporeans feel about homosexuality, "the time will come for Parliament to open up another debate" on decriminalizing it. "There is a lot of stigma still associated with homosexuality in Singapore," Baey said. "Even though more people showed up at this year's Pink Dot event, including straight people, it's hard to say if homosexuality is widely acceptable yet in Singapore. But I think it is important for stakeholders and the government to be open and have continuous engagement regarding this issue." Baey commended Wijeysingha for being open about his sexuality, saying that "it must have taken a lot of courage to do what he did."

Wijeysingha said the best response he has received is from young people who have told him that he has given them courage by coming out. But he said he will work on more than gay rights. "My value system is one of equal rights to all," he said. "Human rights are indivisible."

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:02 am 
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Singapore gays rally to counter opposition
By SATISH CHENEY
June 28, 2014

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Singapore theatre director Ivan Heng attended the Pink Dot event, dressed as a Samsui woman, in a nod to Singapore's Pioneer Generation.

SINGAPORE (AP) — Thousands of gay rights activists gathered in downtown Singapore on Saturday for an annual rally that came under unprecedented criticism from religious conservatives, with one influential Christian pastor calling on the government to ban the event.

Previous Pink Dot rallies have been held without much opposition. But as they grew in numbers from less than 3,000 people when the first event was held in 2009 to more than 20,000 last year, so did their disapproval. Organizers said a record 26,000 people showed up Saturday. On paper, gay sex remains a criminal offense in the wealthy, multi-cultural city-state of 5.4 million, although authorities rarely enforce the British colonial-era legislation, known as Section 377A.

Lawrence Khong, founder and pastor of the 10,000-member Faith Community Baptist Church, has been the most vocal critic of homosexuality and the Pink Dot rally. In a statement, he said he could not understand why authorities were allowing the rally to take place. "I find it even more disconcerting that the event is being used as a platform of public persuasion to push their alternative lifestyle," he said. "I would like to see our government leaders draw a clear line on where they now stand with regard to this moral issue."

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Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said he believed Singaporean society should be one "where you don't go pushing your own beliefs and preferences, but at the same time everyone else keeps the balance in society and avoids creating conflict."

Former lawmaker Siew Kum Hong, who tried to get Parliament to repeal Section 377A unsuccessfully, said he believed that the legislation will be overturned eventually. "I've always maintained that the government's position is untenable. When presented with a chance to repeal 377A, it decided to avoid making a principled decision and instead opted to kick the can down the road."

Other opposition came from an Islamic teacher who encouraged Muslims to wear white Saturday on the eve of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which was interpreted as a response to a Pink Dot video showing a Singaporean Muslim declaring his support for the LGBT community. The LGBT supporters wore pink in the rally, whose highlights include large crowds standing together with pink torchlights at night, creating a spectacular aerial view.

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Participants dressed in pink enjoy a picnic before taking part in the forming of a giant pink dot at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore June 28, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

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Participants dressed in pink read about issues of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community at a question-and-answer area where participants are free to write their questions and answers, before taking part in the forming of a giant pink dot at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park in Singapore June 28, 2014. The annual Pink Dot Sg event promotes an acceptance of the LBGT community in Singapore, according to organisers. REUTERS/Edgar Su

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Source: Yahoo! AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:22 am 
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Singapore celebrates 10th LGBT pride festival
2 August 2014
By Sylvia Tan

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Host Becca D'Bus at the former Parliamentary Debating Chamber at The Arts House. Photo: Ben Xue

Over 200 LGBTIs and their allies filled the historic former Parliamentary Debating Chamber at The Arts House where ContraDiction – the opening event of the month-long Indignation LGBT pride season – was held on Friday night.

The queer literary event featured 12 poets, writers and singer-musicians who performed LGBTI-themed poems, writings and songs in the very chambers of Singapore's Old Parliament House where the laws of Singapore were passed from 1955 to 1999. Under section 377A of Singapore's penal code, a legacy from its British colonial past, homosexual acts are criminalized although the law is not 'actively enforced.'

The festival was first held in 2005 as a community response to the banning of the annual Nation gay circuit party in Singapore in 2004. Each individual event during the festival is separately organized by different people or community groups as a gesture of solidarity.

Other highlights of the festival include a panel discussion with veteran gay activist Alex Au and Asst Prof Lynette J Chua, author of 'Mobilizing Gay Singapore: Rights and Resistance in an Authoritarian State' on Aug 3, Pink Picnic on Aug 9, Pink Run and A Long Table About Strategies for the Future on Aug 16.

For more details and a full line-up, visit http://indignationsg.wordpress.com

Source: GayStarNews.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:59 pm 
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Outrage in Singapore over destruction of LGBT-themed kid's books
July 11, 2014

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A mock tombstone is displayed during a rally at a free-speech park called Speakers' Corner in Singapore on June 8, 2013. (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE (AFP) -- Leading Singaporean writers on Friday expressed outrage over the national library's plans to destroy three children's books seen to promote homosexuality.

The National Library Board (NLB) late Thursday confirmed it would "pulp" three children's titles deemed to be against its "pro-family" stance following complaints by a parent and its own internal review.

Singapore's small but vocal arts and literary community slammed the move as an exercise in "book burning" and censorship, amid rising tensions between religious conservatives and gay-rights activists in the city-state.

The three books to be destroyed include "And Tango Makes Three" -- a true story about two male penguins in a New York zoo which raised a baby penguin -- and "The White Swan Express", which features children adopted by straight, gay, mixed-race and single parents. The third book, "Who's In My Family", discusses different types of families, including references to gay couples.

The state-funded NLB is a network of 26 public libraries with a collection of five million books and multimedia items.

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Gay rights supporters form a giant pink dot at "Speakers' Corner" in Singapore on June 28, 2014. (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)

Prominent local writer Ng Yi-Sheng bemoaned the NLB's decision to destroy the books instead of choosing a "compromise solution, such as putting the books in adult lending or even the reference section". "I want you to bring up these book burnings in your public events," he told fellow authors in a Facebook post. Alfian Sa'at, a playwright, called for a boycott of the NLB network. "Our stand is precise and clear: We are against censorship, an opaque bureaucracy and the destruction of books," he said.

Conservative city state

A group of writers scheduled to speak at an NLB event about humour on Sunday also pulled out in protest. The Singapore Review of Books, an online publication that reviews books from Singapore and outside, said on its website that the NLB's decision to destroy the books "has crossed the threshold to take on the spectre of a pyre... from which no hope may rise".

But Singapore's information minister Yaacob Ibrahim said in a Facebook post Friday the NLB's decision was "guided by community norms". "The prevailing norms, which the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans accept, support teaching children about conventional families, but not about alternative, non-traditional families, which is what the books in question are about," he wrote.

The episode comes just two weeks after an annual gay rights rally in the conservative city-state was attended by over 20,000 people, sparking a fierce debate between religious conservatives opposed to the event and Singapore's growing gay-rights lobby. Gay sex between men is illegal in Singapore and is punishable by up to two years in jail under a provision in the penal code dating back to British colonial rule. Singapore officials have openly promised that the city's LGBT community will not be hounded under this law, but say it must stay in the books because most citizens still do not accept homosexuality.

A survey of 4,000 citizens by the government-linked Institute of Policy Studies earlier this year found that 78.2 percent of the local population felt same-sex relations were wrong.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore and sex
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:05 pm 
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Literary judges quit as Singapore gay book row escalates
July 16, 2014

A censorship row in Singapore escalated Wednesday when judges of a literary prize quit over the national library's plans to destroy three children’s books deemed to be pro-homosexual.

In a statement, the three judges of the non-fiction category of the biennial Singapore Literature Prize condemned a National Library Board (NLB) decision last week to pulp three titles that went against its "pro-family" stance. "We condemn in the strongest terms NLB's decision to remove and destroy these books, given that it is responsible for the dissemination of information rather than its destruction," said T. Sasitharan, Romen Bose, and Robin Hemley.

The trio are prominent figures in Singapore's small but vocal arts and literary community. The Singapore Literature Prize is considered the city-state's most prestigious writing award.

The state-funded NLB last week confirmed that three titles would be destroyed following complaints by a parent and an internal review. They include "And Tango Makes Three" -- a true story about two male penguins in a New York zoo that raised a baby penguin -- and "The White Swan Express", which features children adopted by straight, gay, mixed-race and single parents. The third book, "Who's In My Family", discusses different types of families, including references to gay couples.

The decision to destroy the books was supported by Singapore's information minister Yaacob Ibrahim, who said the NLB was "guided by community norms" which do not support teaching children about "alternative, non-traditional families".

Singaporean writers however slammed the NLB for partaking in "book burning" and censorship. Some 400 people including parents gathered at a library branch on Sunday to read the banned books to their children as a show of protest. A group of writers scheduled to speak at an NLB event on Sunday about humour also pulled out in protest.

In the statement Wednesday, the three judges said the planned destruction of the books was "bigoted and sets a very worrying precedent that it is acceptable to discriminate against anyone who may hold differing values and opinions". The move was "unbecoming of an institution entrusted to protect and preserve learning and literature and to provide accessibility to information," they added.

The books episode has sharpened the split between Singapore's religious conservatives and its growing gay-rights lobby, which staged a peaceful rally attended by more than 20,000 people on June 28. Sex between men is illegal in Singapore and punishable by up to two years in jail under a provision in the penal code dating back to British colonial rule.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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