Now Reading
Singapore activists take dim light to festival donation

Singapore activists take dim light to festival donation

iLights Marina Bay, Singapore

Organisers of a massive festival in Singapore is reconsidering its relationship with one of its beneficiaries over concerns it is anti-LGBT.

Focus on the Family Singapore organisation (FOTF SG) is a beneficiary of the iLights installation, Art Zoo – an inflatable playground in the setting of a zoological garden.

The iLights Marina Bay is Asia’s largest sustainable lights festival and runs until March 23.

Leow Yangfa has called out the relationship between the Art-Zoo and FOTF SG.

He is a registered social worker and executive director of Oogachaga, a community based counselling centre working with LGBTI people.

Leow is concerned FOTF SG is linked to the American Focus of the Family who are homophobic, against marriage equality and promote gay conversion therapy. He argues an anti-LGBTI organisation should not be receiving any funds from Art Zoo.

‘In my professional capacity as a registered social worker in Singapore… I have personally met staff of
FOTF Singapore, and they are just as clear in their anti-LGBT stand as their American counterparts,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘We also have counselling clients and other sources who report that the sexuality education programmes they teach in our local schools are misogynistic and homophobic in content.

‘Any support to the organization, in whatever form, is an endorsement of their anti-LGBT/ misogynist  stance.’

FOFT SG only help certain families

Art Zoo defended its decision to include FOTF SG as beneficiaries of the event. Art Zoo said many LGBTI people were involved with the installation. But it would reconsider future relationships with the organisation.

‘Our selection of beneficiaries – Student Care Services and Focus on the Family – is based on their support towards local families, communities and the less fortunate,’ an Art Zoo spokesperson said.

‘Based on our understanding, FOTF SG is autonomous relative to its US counterpart.

‘We sincerely believe that ‘art has no borders’. And we certainly do not support any form of discrimination or the spread of ‘hate’ throughout our communities – whether implicitly or explicitly.

‘Our management team is made up of over half of LGBT members. Our team has put a lot of hard work and hours in pulling this event together and it is disappointing that our good intentions of providing an art installation that is open to everyone has caused distress. This was not our intention.

‘Nonetheless, we will look into the matter thoroughly and will review our current commitments with FOTF as well as any future partnerships.’

Gay Star News has reached out to FOTF SG for comment.