SINGAPORE, Thursday, October 30, 2014 – We are greatly shocked and disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s ruling against appeals brought forth by Kenneth Chee, Gary Lim, and Tan Eng Hong, thereby upholding the constitutionality of Section 377a of the Penal Code criminalising sex between men.

Despite the authorities’ claim that this law will not be enforced, the existence of Section 377a has a wide-ranging effect not just on Singapore’s Gay men, but also its Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities.

It gives carte blanche for discrimination and reinforces prejudice, leading to censorship in the media and the aggravation of negative stereotypes, and impacting the health and wellbeing of a significant segment of society.

While we appreciate the Court’s position that it cannot assist in providing a judicial remedy to what it views as a legislative issue, we cannot accept its narrow interpretation of the constitution in this regard, and its view that this is an ‘insistence by a particular group or individual that its/his values be imposed on other groups or individuals’.

It is not an imposition for a segment to seek the same rights as the rest of society. To be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law, to feel safe at home, and to be protected against discrimination, mistreatment, even physical and emotional harm, is a right to which every Singaporean should be entitled, and not denied on the basis of whom they love.

With this verdict, an opportunity to showcase Singapore as a truly accepting, open and inclusive society – and a great place to live, work and play – has been missed.

An opportunity to demonstrate that we all stand by our guiding principle of being one united people, building a democratic society based on justice and equality, has been missed.

With that in mind, we however recognise efforts made by the High Court and Court of Appeal to hear the cases. We appreciate it is not an easy issue and we trust that all options and avenues had been carefully considered in deliberations leading up to the final ruling.

In view of the Court’s stance, we call on Parliament to demonstrate true leadership and do the right thing by nullifying this crippling piece of legislation.

We also wish to collectively thank the people involved in both legal challenges: partners Kenneth and Gary, fronted by lawyers Deborah Barker and Peter Low; and Tan Eng Hong, represented by M Ravi, for their time, effort and devotion to this cause of building an equal and caring society in Singapore.

We recognise that the journey toward building Singapore into a society that truly understands, accepts and appreciates the value of diversity and inclusivity is still in its early days – this is by no means the end of the road to equality for the LGBT community.

Let us all do our part, and work towards the day when the freedom to love, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, finally becomes a reality.

– End –

This statement is jointly issued by the following community groups:

With motto “Rainbow is the colour of my skin”

SINGAPORE (29th October 2014) – Asia’s first high fashion and lifestyle digital journal for the Asian LGBT community ELEMENT Magazine publishes its 10th issue alongside the launch of The Rainbow Campaign. In line with the upcoming Taiwan Pride Parade, renowned Taiwanese singer A-Mei will be fronting the campaign as well as appearing on the cover of ELEMENT Magazine. The only cover shoot that A-Mei is doing this year. With seven photographers and 20 participants from six cities in Asia participating in the Rainbow Campaign, ELEMENT Magazine hopes to share the universal values with the world that despite the differences in sexual orientation, LGBTs are fundamentally the same as everyone else trying to make the best out of what we have and longing for love. We hope to make an impact in our culture and gradually gain further acceptance in society.

Campaign organizer Hiro Mizuhara commented, “Homosexuality traces back many centuries ago regardless of color or race. True democracy in any country lies in protecting the interest of minorities.” As a mixed descendent of Japanese and Chinese, Hiro Mizuhara received Western education while growing up. He has experienced differences and common traits lied in different cultures. As the organizer of the rainbow campaign, he added, “A truly progressed and civilized society is one that respect the very rights and dignity of every individual.”

Photo by: Element

Renowned Taiwanese singer who is also an advocate for gay rights A-Mei shared her purpose in fronting this campaign, “As it is to me, love needs to be respected regardless of who you are, who I am. I hope by taking part in this campaign, more people will be aware, understand and recognize the LGBT community.”

Ian Koh, photographer for the Taiwan leg of this campaign says “Through this campaign, teenagers and young adults who has been suppressed can see that there are many (gay people) out there living their lives normally and holding their heads up high.”

Well-known Taiwanese celebrity photographer Su Yi Liang took the opportunity as a contribution to the LGBT community “I very happy that I can do something for our LGBT friends, so I took the job as I wanted to show support in the best way I know how.”

The Rainbow Issue will be launch by the end of October featuring exclusive interviews with A-Mei and every participant. The series of visually bold photographs that will also be exhibited in an LGBT bar in Shanghai called 390 Shanghai.

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We are excited to announce the panelists for Hands UP! Read more about them below.

Otto Fong

Otto Fong stayed closeted as a teacher for 7 years before he finally came out publicly on a blog in 2007. Though he was allowed to continue teaching, he decided to leave subsequently to pursue a career in self-publishing.  Otto has since given many interviews as a gay person, including the New Paper, Straits Times and Zao Bao and was the keynote speaker in the 2011 Pink Dot. He has also spoken at Google and the Interbank LGBT group, and was also featured in Fridae’s Safer Sex video campaign this year.

Otto will share about his experience both as a closeted and out gay teacher and his perspectives as a teacher on the experiences of LGBTQ students while he was a teacher. Read his coming out blog post here:

Sing Rue

Sing Rue is a 20 year old queer woman who published an open letter earlier this year on her experiences at Dunman High Secondary in response to the HPB FAQ controversy. She was forced out of the closet in school when the school administration found out about her first relationship when she was 14 and intervened in a very public manner. She spent the next four years trying to go back into the closet. 
Apart from her experiences as a queer student, Sing Rue will share about other forms of homophobic discrimination she experienced and how they affected her, as well as the response from friends, teachers and students to her open letter. You can read her open letter here:
A/P Khoo Hoon Eng

A/P Khoo is a faculty member at a local university and is also a proud mother of two gay sons. She co-founded SAFE Singapore, a support group for family and friends of LGBTQ indvidiuals. She was previously a board member of AWARE and volunteered at Action for AIDS.

A/P Khoo published a letter co-signed by 86 faculty members and students of NUS and Yale-NUS to the Straits Times on the disparaging comments of an NUS Malay Studies Professor towards LGBTQ people and drafted a letter of concern to the NUS Provost and the Straits Times. You can read the forum letter here:

Jack Ho
Jack is currently a volunteer with the National LGBT Census and has volunteered with Pink Dot from 2009 to 2013. He has also been in the higher education sector for 5 years, and is presently working in a local university. He is also involved with the newly established office for diversity and inclusion in the school. 

Priscilla – Queen Of The Desert the Musical has a message that is beautiful and inspirational. It is a message of unconditional love with no borders and prejudices. That life is to be lived to the fullest regardless of race, color, religion or orientation.

Its story is a bold statement that you can be whom you are, love whom you want, be loved in return and you should and can choose to live your life however way you want with whomever you want to. Amidst all the hate, biasness, resentment and negativity, individuals can still shine from within to with out. Celebrate life and love the way you want to live and love. It’s truly a Musical that celebrates ones true colors.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful, fun, touching , vibrant, inspirational and exciting show. It is an expression of one’s true self.
It’s time to show your true colors and be proud of who you are!!!! Now!!!!

It’s indeed a platform from which to celebrate together , life the way it should be… a night of timeless classic songs from the 80s that will keep your feet and heart dancing throughout.

Priscilla – Queen Of The Desert the Musical is all that and more!!!

See you there at the musical and join in celebrating your true colors with us!!!

Visit to purchase the tickets now!