Singapore police reject licence application for gay event
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Just when everyone thought they could keep partying forever, the police on Wednesday rejected an application for a public entertainment licence (PELU) to hold SnowBall.04 on December 26 because "the event is likely to be organised as a gay party which is contrary to public interest in general."
The organisers, Jungle Media, a Singapore subsidiary of Hong Kong-based fridae.com, had previously organised Snowball in 2002 and 2004 and Nation in 2002, 2003 and 2004, all of which have been internationally popular gay dance events. Nation.04 has been nominated for "Best Event Experience" in the 2005 Singapore Tourism Awards and was estimated to have generated million in tourism revenue.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, the Police said the following were taken into consideration:
“The promotion materials were widely advertised on Fridae.com, a known gay portal;
“Observations during the indoor Opening Ball at Suntec showed that patrons of the same gender were seen openly kissing and intimately touching each other. Some of the revellers were cross-dressed, for example, males wearing skirts. Patrons were also seen using the toilets of the opposite sex. The behaviour of these patrons suggested that most of them were probably gays/lesbians and this was thus an event almost exclusively for gays/lesbians;
“A number of couples of the same sex were seen hugging and kissing in public after the event while waiting for taxis and checking into the nearby hotels after the party;
“Several letters of complaint were received from some patrons about the openly gay acts at the Ball.”
It also said: “The Police recognise that there are some Singaporeans with gay tendencies. While Police do not discriminate against them on this basis, the Police also recognise that Singapore is still, by and large, a conservative and traditional society. Hence, the Police cannot approve any application for an event which goes against the moral values of a large majority of Singaporeans. Future applications for events of similar nature will be closely scrutinised.”
Fridae has written to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng last night appealing the decision and asking the relevant authorities to reconsider their position.
For further details of the progress of the appeal see the friday.com web site.