Singapore: ‘Pink Dot’ LGBT rally attracts highest attendance yet

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Singapore’s annual pink-themed LGBT rights rally attracted more crowds than any previous year.

An estimated 21,000 people attended the Pink Dot event on Saturday, dressing in pink, marching, and lighting up the city at night. Attendance was the highest yet seen at the annual gathering, which was started in 2009.

Rally spokesman Paerin Choa said the numbers were “a strong signal that Singapore is not as conservative as some think.”

Organisers stressed that the rally was a show of support for the LGBT community rather than a protest, despite the High Court’s recent decision to reject a case against Singapore’s anti-gay law.

Section 377A of the penal code makes sex between two men punishable by up to two years, although it is rarely enforced.

Oral and anal sex between consenting heterosexual women and lesbians were sanctioned after the penal code was reviewed in 2007. However, the ban remains in place for men who have sex with men.

In April, Singapore’s High Court r­ejected a petition to repeal Section 377A – the legality of which has been questioned by Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee.

“It seems that the Singapore government thinks it’s not time to change the law yet, as they have the perception that the majority of the people in Singapore are still conservative,” said National University of Singapore assistant law professor Lynette Chua.

Lim and Chee have said they will now take their legal challenge to the Court of Appeal, the highest judicial body in Singapore.