THE CONSERVATIVES MARCH ON

Earlier this year, the HPB debate rallied certain Christians, Muslims and fellow conservatives to stand together against what they see as growing endorsement of LGBTQ lifestyles in society. Faith Community Baptist Church Pastor Lawrence Khong, the National Council of Churches of Singapore, the Catholic church, Pergas, the Fellowship of Muslim Students Association, NUS Malay Studies AP Khairudin Aljunied were among those who voiced concern that the interests of the conservatives were undermined by LGBTQ lobbying.

With the annual Pink Dot around the corner, an event backed by corporations such as Goldman Sachs and BP, the conservatives plan to hold their own advocacy. Ustaz Noor Deros told his supporters to wear White in protest of the Pink Dot. Lawrence Khong weighed in and said that the Wear White act was supportive of the government’s position to retain 377A and the status quo. With his pro-family Red Dot and anti-Pink Dot plan scuttled by the government earlier, the FCBC pastor saw the Wear White campaign as a like-minded cause. Meanwhile, government-led MUIS urged Muslims not to be confrontational on LGBTQ issues. MUIS’ action clearly showed that the government wanted to diffuse any confrontation, a confrontation that is inevitable in any democracy where different interest groups compete all the time e.g. France and the same sex marriage controversy.

The LGBTQ lobby used the annual Pink Dot to address 377A and acceptance of the LGBTQ community in society. Numbers at the event reflect its growing support. They however do not dominate the discourse as yet and the conservatives are raising their voices and backing each other up, not seen since the casino debate even. The PAP government would then become like other governments in the West, to maintain status quo until it becomes clear as a policy what the majority wants purely as a vote-pleasing exercise. Until then, the LGBTQ and the conservatives would try to outshout each other to give the impression that they represent the majority, and lobby for their interests.

Wear white to protest Singapore pink gay rally, religious groups say

SINGAPORE – Some Christians have joined Muslims in Singapore urging followers to wear white this weekend in protest at the sixth annual “Pink Dot” gay rights rally, which attracted a record 21,000 people last year.
June 23

SINGAPORE – Some Christians have joined Muslims in Singapore urging followers to wear white this weekend in protest at the sixth annual “Pink Dot” gay rights rally, which attracted a record 21,000 people last year.

Singapore is seeing growing anger over issues ranging from immigration and rising living costs to gay rights – all in a country where dissent is actively discouraged and political gatherings require a permit regardless of how many people are involved.

Last year’s Pink Dot rally was held just months after the High Court rejected a petition to repeal a law which criminalises sex between men.

Ustaz Noor Deros, a Muslim teacher, launched the WearWhite movement last week, urging Muslims not to take part in the Pink Dot event on Saturday, and to wear white garments to prayers on that night as they usher in the holy month of Ramadan. Its Facebook page has attracted more than 3,000 “Likes”.

“The movement’s genesis was from our observations of the growing normalization of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) in Singapore,” the WearWhite website says.

That movement has been joined by Lawrence Khong, head of the Faith Community Baptist Church, and the LoveSingapore network of churches. He encouraged members of his church to wear white at this weekend’s services.

Khong said that WearWhite movement was meant to defend the official position of the government.

“We cannot and will not endorse homosexuality. We will continue to resist any public promotion of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle,” Khong said in a Facebook posting.

The majority of Singaporeans appear to be against same-sex marriage, even as Pink Dot has seen growing support since it began in 2009 and attracted corporate sponsors including BP, Goldman Sachs and Google.

A study by the Institute of Policy Studies released at the start of this year found that 78.2 percent of Singaporeans felt sexual relations between two adults of the same sex was always or almost always wrong, and 72.9 percent of them were against gay marriage.

Singapore government ministers have called for restraint amid growing support for the WearWhite movement, though human rights activists say there should be clearer condemnation of discrimination.

“The state needs to come in and take on a clearer role from a legal perspective,” said Braema Mathi, president of MARUAH, a human rights group. REUTERS

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