Singapore gay-rights rally draws record crowd: organisers

gay marriage. PHOTO:

gay marriage. PHOTO:

Thousands of Singaporeans from all walks of life on Saturday joined what organisers said was the city state’s biggest ever public rally to call for an end to discrimination against the gay community.

Organisers of Pink Dot 2015 said the estimated turnout of 28,000 was a record for the event, surpassing the crowd count of 26,000 they gave last year.

No independent estimates were available, but an AFP photographer on the scene said the crowd appeared to be bigger than at last year’s event.

The annual gathering in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights has grown, despite a backlash from social and religious conservatives in the multi-racial nation of 5.5 million.

Pink Dot has been lobbying for the repeal of Section 377a of Singapore’s penal code, an archaic and largely unenforced law that makes it a crime for men to have sex with other men.

“Pink Dot aims to help build a kinder and more inclusive Singapore,” a statement from the organisers said.

Most participants came in pink to the rally in Hong Lim Park — Singapore’s only designated protest zone — where expatriates mingled with locals in a field festooned with pink balloons.

The event culminated after nightfall with a human formation creating a gigantic dot with lights spelling out the word “LOVE”.

The Pink Dot movement is supported by global brands including technology giants Google and Twitter, energy group BP and major banks Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

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