11 Nov 2005

Gay group barred from arts event

Gay group barred from arts event
Friday • November 11, 2005
— ANSLEY NG, TODAY online

A GAY rights group's participation in a national arts event last night was denied less than a week before it was due to perform.

People Like Us, or PLU3, received news on Saturday that it could not participate in the week-long event titled Visitor Centre, held at the National Library. The news came to the group through a verbal message sent by the National Arts Council (NAC) to event organiser Spell#7, a local performance company.

With the exception of the group, three other groups — all arts groups — that applied to be in the event were allowed.

According to email correspondence between NAC and Spell#7, which Today received, the statutory board initially had no issue with having PLU3 on the program.

But in a statement last night, the NAC told Today it made its decision because the nature of PLU3's discussion topics "did not meet the objectives of the festival".

"As a festival open to all, the programming needs to be accessible and have a broad appeal," it said in a statement last night.

According to PLU3's plan, during what was to have been a "committee meeting-cum-interactive theatre", members of the public would have been able to sit in on their six-member meeting and observe or offer suggestions on the topics being discussed. These topics include "logistics issues of an upcoming forum", founding member Alex Au told Today.

"While we are discussing, members of the public are free to offer suggestions. In a way, it's also interactive theatre," said Mr Au.

"It was supposed to be a low profile event."

One criterion, though, was that members of the public had to put themselves in the shoes of a gay person and speak from that perspective, Mr Au added. He estimated that not more than 10 PLU3 members and only "a handful of members of the public" would have turned up if the event had been allowed to carry on.

Expressing puzzlement at NAC's decision, the group said: "Despite PLU3 clarifying again that the committee meeting was to discuss logistical and organisational matters and was not a public forum meant to debate substantive issues, the NAC withdrew their approval."

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whether a gay or a lesbian is still a human being with senses like any ordinary being (male/female) like us. I would like to recommend anyone who is interested to listen to a talk by a Buddhist monk, Ven Ajahn Brahm regarding "sexuality".

www.bswa.org/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?cid=4&lid=206 (This appears in Yawning Bread website: Buddhist leader: it's all the politics of hate and ill-will".

sour bodhi said...

wow Today actually reported this? i'm starting to respect them more and more...

pleinelune said...

Yeah. You might want to remember, there is a good reason "Mr Brown" is working there, rather than in ST. ;)

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