Singaporean activist Jean Chong recently met with the law minister K Shanmugam to talk about LGBT rights in the city-state where homosexual sex is still criminalized.
Chong first contacted Shanmugam via his Facebook page last October, out of frustration ‘about the state of institutionalized discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in Singapore,’ Chong writes on LGBT Asia website Fridae.
‘If LGBT citizens are not wanted,’ Chong wrote to the law minister. ‘Please tell us, so that we can all forget this struggle and move on to wherever we need to be.’
Shanmugam responding saying ‘there can be no suggestion that LGBT citizens are not wanted’ but caveated ‘the government is often caught in the middle trying to decide what would be acceptable to the majority’.
The exchange led to a meeting last November between Shanmugam and members of Singapore lesbian group Sayoni, which is led by Chong.
‘I think even though Minister Shan repeated the same arguments the government has made before we felt he was "open" towards hearing our thoughts,’ Chong told Gay Star News. ‘At least there is a conversation with us, which is a good start.’
Read Gay Star News’ interview with Chong here.