Over the weekend, the seventh edition of Pink Dot SG saw its largest turn-out yet, with more than 28,000 people coming together. This was despite the organisers facing several challenging situations from the community.
According to a statement from the Pink Dot SG organisers, a 15-second pre-event advertisement for Pink Dot that was meant to be screened in cinemas was refused a rating by the MDA last Friday after a two-month wait, effectively banning it. The statement said that the MDA cited the reason that “it is not in the public interest to allow cinema halls to carry advertising on LGBT issues.”
Responding to Marketing's queries, MDA said it had "carefully considered" Cathay Organisation’s application on 12 May to screen a Pink Dot 2015 promotional trailer in its cinemas.
"This is the first time MDA has received such an application. MDA has concluded that it is not in the public interest to allow cinema halls to carry advertising on LGBT issues, whether they are advocating for the cause, or against the cause. MDA has therefore rejected Cathay Organisation’s application to screen the trailer,”the spokesperson added.
The ad is currently running on Pink Dot SG's social media channels. Here's the full ad:
Nonetheless, the Pint Dot SG organisers added that this year the event saw its largest-ever list of corporate sponsors. Social media giant Twitter, local entertainment giant Cathay Organisation, as well as financial software, data and media company Bloomberg, join returning sponsors Google, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, BP, J.P. Morgan and The Gunnery.
This year’s Pink Dot focused on the message, "Where Love Lives," and invited the community to reflect on the progress that has been made towards dispelling the discrimination and prejudice that face lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as the many challenges that still remain. People were encouraged to take part in Pink Dot’s social media campaign, #WhereLoveLivesSg. The campaign was powered by local social media agency, Campaign.com.
Paerin Choa, a Pink Dot SG spokesperson added, “After the setbacks that we had experienced over the last 12 months, giving up and losing hope would have been the easy thing to do. But we also know that Singapore’s LGBT community are a very resilient bunch, and in view of these challenges, we still have much to celebrate.”
Among the major challenges the community had faced over the past year, probably the biggest was the verdict in October last year by the Court of Appeal upholding the constitutionality of Section 377a of the Penal Code, which criminalises physical intimacy between men.
Locally, furniture brand IKEA also recently came under fire for partnering up with Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) controversial pastor Lawrence Khong who has been in the limelight for openly opposing homosexuality.
Meanwhile last year, The National Library Board (NLB) came under intense fire from netizens after it decided to pull off two children’s book titles off its shelves. The books were removed after the board received complaints from a member of the public stating that the titles And Tango Makes Three and The White Swan Express were not in line with traditional family values. The first book depicts two male penguins acting like a couple raising a young penguin and the latter talks about a single mother, adoption and a lesbian couple.