The Singaporean government has announced that foreign companies should stop sponsoring the annual Pink Dot LGBT rights rally. A number of major multinational firms sponsored last week’s Pink Dot 2016, including Out Leadership member companies Barclays, Bloomberg LP, Clifford Chance, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Microsoft.
A day after the 4 June event the Ministry of Home Affairs released a statement asserting that “foreign entities should not interfere in our domestic issues, especially political or controversial social issues with political overtones. These are political, social or moral choices for Singaporeans to decide for ourselves. LGBT issues are one such example.” Pink Dot has engendered significant opposition from conservative and Christian groups in Singapore, a country where gay sex remains a criminal offense.
Barclays responded to the move with a statement reaffirming its support for Pink Dot and the LGBT community. Goldman Sachs is reviewing the statement. According to the event organizers, all of the sponsors are incorporated and registered in Singapore, however it is unclear if the government still considers them to be “foreign entities.”