Modern Marketing Marketing & the Marginalized LGBT

Singapore government regulates foreign sponsorship of LGBT event, Google stands by involvement


By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

October 24, 2016 | 3 min read

The Singapore government has announced an additional layer of red tape in order for foreign businesses to be corporate sponsors of events held at Speakers Corner in Hong Lim Park.

Pink Dot

Google stands by Pink Dot sponsorship

The new rules mean any foreign business must now apply for a license to be able to sponsor, publicly promote or organise members or employees to participate. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the new rules are in place to reinforce that the area is intended as a place for Singaporeans.

A prominent LGBT event held at the park called Pink Dot may be impacted by this as foreign businesses, including Google, provide funding to the organisation as corporate sponsors.

Pink Dot told Channel News Asia that it hoped this would encourage more local businesses and organisations to come forward and support the LGBT movement in Singapore.

It’s support from foreign organisations may not be under threat entirely either, as Google has very quickly responded to the news with confirmation that it will apply for the new license in order to continue its support of the event.

The event is sponsored by a range of foreign businesses, including JP Morgan and BP but none have yet made any decisions or statements on its application for the license.

In Singapore it isn’t illegal to be gay, but a former British colony penal code (337A) remains partly intact, which prohibits sex between two men. Similar rules apply in other former British colonies such as India and Malaysia, making global business policies around LGBT inclusivity difficult to translate or a sensitive topic to comment on, in some instances without breaking the law.

Last week The Drum launched its annual Diversity census to understand the issues the industry faces worldwide. To have your say, fill in the diversity questionairre.

Modern Marketing Marketing & the Marginalized LGBT

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