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Content about Singapore

May 6, 2015

More than just news, we bring you the LGBTI world - 24/7!

Our team of reporters around the world are always on duty, bringing you the news stories that matter but also insights into the world around us and exploration of the things that matter.

Here's a quick summary of what you get from Gay Star News:

April 24, 2015

'Gays cannot be an inspiration in Singapore society!!'

Two nieces write similar essays about their lesbian aunt; one gets an A, the other gets an F. The difference? One lives in the Netherlands and the other in Singapore.

Singapore-Dutch blogger Jane said her niece from Amsterdam wrote an essay on why she is the best aunt someone could ever have, and added that she liked other girls.

Jane said her the girl described some of the issues some Singaporean family members had with her sexuality, and said she hoped that everyone could just be  friends as it was not fair it was because she liked girls and not boys.

April 19, 2015

By supporting the anti-gay pastor who has been actively campaigning against LGBT equality, what message is Ikea sending to its LGBT customers and others who support equality?

Update (April 20, 2014): The Singapore Straits Times has picked up this story on Monday and reported that Ikea Singapore is reviewing its support for the pastor-magican's magic show.

Ikea Singapore has come under fire from LGBT groups and individuals for supporting and promoting prominent anti-gay pastor Lawrence Khong's upcoming Vision magic show in July.

April 14, 2015

Jada found happiness in her new family

It’s a country where the law is set against LGBTI people – but people do find happiness, as a new video reminds us.

Transgender former performer Jada lives in Singapore with her son Raiyan and is in love with her new partner, Addi.

But it wasn’t always this way.

‘I had a previous boyfriend. He became a jerk when he became popular, he got famous. He started being very abusive, mentally and emotionally. So we broke off. But that doesn’t stop me from believing in love,’ Jada shares.

March 9, 2015

'I tell people that I am married but still single'

After years of waiting in vain, Andrew Chan decided to stop looking for 'the one' and start planning his wedding.

The LGBTI community worker promised himself he would get married on his 40th birthday, even if he had not found Mr Right and in spite of Singapore’s anti-gay laws.

‘A wedding is a special and beautiful occasion that marks the romantic union of two people. Many people, especially singles like me dream to experience that,’ he told Gay Star News.

March 6, 2015

Alex Au apologizes but says he will appeal

A Singaporean blogger Wednesday (4 March) was fined S$8,000 ($5,843) over a post critical of the city's anti-gay law.

Alex Au, 62, was found guilty of 'scandalizing contempt' in January for insinuating that the dates for two constitutional challenges to Singapore’s gay sex ban were rigged so that the then attorney-general could hear the cases.

February 9, 2015

Reporting from Singapore for Gay Star News

Sylvia Tan lives in Singapore and has been reporting on LGBTI news and issues since 2001.

January 26, 2015

Lee Hsien Loong explains why he always wears pink

Singapore's prime minister Saturday (24 January) dodges a personal invitation to the city's largest LGBTI rally during a online Q&A.

Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the public on his personal Facebook page from the social network's Singapore offices.

During the 45-minute session, the premier managed to answer just 27 of nearly 1,500 questions, which ranged in topic from cats to gay rights.

Of the few he managed to answer, Lee decided to respond a question from LGBTI activist Lim Jialiang about his penchant for pink.

January 26, 2015

Lee Hsien Loong explains why he always wears pink

Singapore's prime minister Saturday (24 January) dodges a personal invitation to the city's largest LGBTI rally during a online Q&A.

Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the public on his personal Facebook page from the social network's Singapore offices.

During the 45-minute session, the premier managed to answer just 27 of nearly 1,500 questions, which ranged in topic from cats to gay rights.

Of the few he managed to answer, Lee decided to respond a question from LGBTI activist Lim Jialiang about his penchant for pink.

January 23, 2015

Prominent LGBTI rights activist could face jail time

Singaporean LGBTI rights activist and blogger Alex Au has been found guilty of 'scandalizing contempt' for a post critical of the city's anti-gay law.

The High Court ruled Thursday (22 January) that the article published in October 2013 posed 'a real threat of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore.'

'I therefore find the respondent guilty of scandalizing contempt in respect of that article,' Justice Belinda Ang wrote in her judgement.

January 23, 2015

Prominent LGBTI rights activist could face jail time

Singaporean LGBTI rights activist and blogger Alex Au has been found guilty of 'scandalizing contempt' for a post critical of the city's anti-gay law.

The High Court ruled Thursday (22 January) that the article published in October 2013 posed 'a real threat of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore.'

'I therefore find the respondent guilty of scandalizing contempt in respect of that article,' Justice Belinda Ang wrote in her judgement.

December 5, 2014

Law professor says 'you cannot make a human wrong a human right'

Civil rights activists yesterday (4 December) protested a speech by an anti-gay law professor at a Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore.

Several activists held a rainbow flag and placards reading 'LGBT rights are human rights' while Thio Li-ann delivered her speech.

Jean Chong, co-founder of LGBTI advocacy group Sayoni, told GSN that the silent protest 'was to address the elephant in the room and civil society’s disagreement to the EU’s insistence on inviting Thio in spite of her views on LGBTQ people.'

December 5, 2014

Law professor says 'you cannot make a human wrong a human right'

Civil rights activists yesterday (4 December) protested a speech by an anti-gay law professor at a Human Rights Day seminar hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore.

Several activists held a rainbow flag and placards reading 'LGBT rights are human rights' while Thio Li-ann delivered her speech.

Jean Chong, co-founder of LGBTI advocacy group Sayoni, told GSN that the silent protest 'was to address the elephant in the room and civil society’s disagreement to the EU’s insistence on inviting Thio in spite of her views on LGBTQ people.'

November 1, 2014

'Using criminal law to prosecute individuals for engaging in consensual same sex conduct violates a host of human rights guaranteed by international law,' says the UN human rights office

The United Nations human rights office on Friday expressed its disappointment over a ruling by the Singapore Supreme Court to uphold an 150-year-old British colonial law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adult men.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected two separate Constitutional challenges by Tan Eng Hong who filed the first challenge in 2010, and gay couple Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee in 2012.

October 31, 2014

Top court rejected two constitutional challenges to the country's sodomy law

Singaporean LGBTI activists are 'shocked and disappointed' by the country's top court ruling to uphold the anti-gay law.

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday rejected two challenges to the law brought by a couple of 15 years, Kenneth Chee and Gary Lee, and Tan Eng Hong.

October 22, 2014

Alex Au is accused of implying courts are 'systemically biased' against homosexuality

A contempt of court case against gay activist Alex Au started yesterday in Singapore.

The Attorney-General accused the blogger of implying there is 'systemic bias' within the judiciary in cases involving homosexualiy in two posts publised in October last year.

Au wrote on the Yawning Bread blog, 'I take the view that my writings constituted fair criticism, and that the function of the concept of fair criticism is to protect the individual’s right to freedom of speech and expression.'

September 18, 2014

A former attorney-general says consenting adults should not be jailed for gay sex 

Two top Singaporean lawyers disagreed over whether the country's anti-gay law should be scrapped at a human rights forum on Tuesday night.

About 250 students attended the event at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Professor Walter Woon, law don at NUS and former attorney-general, said he was in favor of repealing the law because of what he sees as a 'constitutional problem.'

The government has said the law would not be proactively enforced but Woon cited the constitution which gave the power of prosecution to the attorney-general.

September 11, 2014

From Chinatown and Little India to a gay village and Asia’s foremost shopping district, we discover Singapore’s unmissable neighborhoods

Singapore is often presented as a serious, business city. But as a bustling commercial port, and major airport hub, it has soaked up cultures from east and west.

And while its skyscrapers are growing at record pace to deal with its demand as a business center, they also show Singapore’s sense of humor – like the triple tower block, topped with a ship, topped with a garden, at Marina Bay Sands.

Here are the neighborhoods every visitor should check out:

August 15, 2014

Singapore’s Police Force has refused to give a permit for this weekend’s Pink Run, claiming the event was not in the interest of maintaining public order

An LGBTI fun run planned for Saturday will not be held after the Singapore Police Force refused the event a permit – effectively banning it.

The Pink Run was going to be held as part of the 10th IndigNation LGBTI pride festival being held throughout August in Singapore.

2014 marked seven years since organizers first attempted to hold a fun run, which was broken up by a group of plain clothed police officers.

August 2, 2014

Indignation – Singapore's only LGBT pride festival featuring performances, a pink run, picnic, talks and discussions – will run for the month of August

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.

August 2, 2014

Indignation – Singapore's only LGBT pride festival featuring performances, a pink run, picnic, talks and discussions – will run for the month of August

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.

July 26, 2014

Discrimination and LGBTI people suppressing their natural sexuality causes 'terrible harm' to LGBTIs and harms their community, says the well-known Theravada Buddhist monk and Spiritual Patron of the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore
 

Ajahn Brahm, Abbott of the Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery in Serpentine, Western Australia, and Spiritual Patron of the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore has urged followers to show respect, compassion and fairness to LGBTI people.

His comments were in response to a question asked by an audience member about the Buddhist position on LGBTs.

July 19, 2014

As protests by the public and boycotts by writers escalate, minister who earlier defended the decision now orders two children's books to be moved to adult section of library

After a vigorous 2-week public debate following the Singapore National Library Board's (NLB) decision to withdraw and destroy three children's books which depict same-sex parents and non-nuclear families, two of the titles will be placed in the adult section instead.

July 13, 2014

Singapore National Library Board has pulled gay-friendly books from shelves, and LGBTI families fight back saying ‘we are real’