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Singapore again rejects gay party permit (PlanetOut Network / Gay.com)
15 Dec, 2004

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday rejected an appeal from organizers of a popular circuit party who seek permission to hold a holiday party this year.

The appeal followed last week's action by the police, who denied a permit to organizers of the party, known as SnowBall.04, because the event contradicted the "moral values" of the majority of Singapore's population.

The rejections stunned Fridae.com and its subsidiary Jungle Media, which has produced SnowBall parties for the past two years. Fridae.com also produces Nation, an annual summer party that is the most popular LGBT event in Asia.

In a statement, MHA echoed the reasoning of the police for denying the permit.

"The blatant public display involving intimate behavior of people of the same sex exhibited at previous events organized by Jungle Media/Fridae.com would be an affront and unacceptable to the large majority of Singaporeans," the ministry said.

Fridae.com chief executive Stuart Koh decried the actions as "poorly justified."

"Fridae is extremely disappointed with the response we have received, which, in the absence of any illegal act, is a blatant show of discrimination against homosexuals in Singapore," Koh said.

Hong Kong-based Fridae.com, the largest LGBT Web site in Asia, has posted ticket refund information for tourists who may been planning to attend SnowBall.04.

Koh also warned that the government's action will hurt Singapore's reputation.

"The image of Singapore as a progressive nation will be tarnished by such an act of discrimination," he said, "and our aspirations of being a global city where diversity is celebrated will be set back by many years."

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