80pct of Singaporeans say LGBTQ community still faces discrimination: survey

17-Jul-2019 Intellasia | Yahoo News Singapore | 6:02 AM Print This Post

An overwhelming proportion of Singaporeans agree that people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community still face discrimination in Singapore.

Four in five Singaporeans (80 per cent) strongly or somewhat agree that such discrimination exists here, according to findings from an online survey commissioned by Yahoo News Singapore.

They were responding to the question: “Although there are changing local attitudes towards those in the LGBTQ community, some say that those in the LGBTQ community are still discriminated against in Singapore. Do you agree or disagree that anti-LGBTQ discrimination still takes place?”

The survey, conducted by BlackBox Research, polled 887 Singaporeans between 13 and 26 June.

55 per cent of respondents also said that they strongly or somewhat support Pink Dot Singapore, the annual event held in support of the LGBTQ community, and what it stands for. The remaining 45 per cent are opposed to it.

The campaign for the 11th edition of Pink Dotheld on 29 June at Hong Lim Parkcentred on theme of anti-discrimination as well as the types of discrimination that LGBTQ Singaporeans face every day.

Its spokesperson told Yahoo News Singapore that the survey findings attested to “what (they) have always known”.

“That anti-LGBTQ discrimination exists in Singapore, and that it can occur at home and in the workplace,” the spokesperson added.

“The fact that some Singaporeans continue to hold a negative perception of LGBTQ people can be attributed to our censorship laws that prohibit any neutral/positive portrayals of LGBTQ persons in our mainstream media.”

Singapore leaders on LGBTQ issues

At the event’s official launch in May, a Pink Dot spokesperson said that the anti-discrimination campaign was “a reaction” to views held by some government officials and those in segments of society.

The discrimination encountered by the LGBTQ community in Singapore “is more than an ‘unenforced 377A law in the books’”, it is “inadequate counselling in schools”, “the inability to register LGBTQ societies”, and more, said the spokesperson.

In Singapore, sex between men is illegal under Section 377A of the Penal Code.

During the Singapore Summit in September last year, Education minister Ong Ye Kung had said that the LGBTQ community faced no discrimination “at work, housing and education” in Singapore.

Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong also spoke about the issue during the Smart Nation Summit in June, three days before this year’s Pink Dot event. He said, “Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore. But this has not inhibited people from living, and has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year.”

Lee was responding to a question raised by a member of the audience on whether Singapore would make its regulations more diverse to attract talent.

“It is the way this society is: we are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between, it is the way the society is,” he added.

In response to Lee’s comments, organisers behind Pink Dot issued a statement on its official Facebook page the next day, stressing that they disagreed with Lee’s statement.

They argued that the non-profit movement’s existence “is not proof that Singapore’s inclusiveness to the LGBTQ community”.

“Pink Dot exists precisely because members of the LGBTQ community in Singapore continue to face discrimination and inequality in a multitude of ways, on a daily basis,” added its organisers.

“This discrimination that we face is borne from Section 377A, along with its trickle-down effects to other laws and policies that govern our society at large.”

They also called for Lee and other leaders to come down to this year’s Pink Dot and “truly make an effort to understand what the LGBTQ community go through on a daily basis”.

“Judging from PM Lee’s response, he might not have a full understanding of the discrimination that takes place in Singapore,” they said.



Category: Singapore

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