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Parkroyal on Pickering does not renew sponsorship of Pink Dot SG, but Goldman Sachs backs Singapore gay pride event again

Investment bank Goldman Sachs has renewed its sponsorship of Singapore’s upcoming gay pride event Pink Dot SG, but luxury hotel Parkroyal on Pickering has decided not to back the event again this year.

Last year's Pink Dot event, with Parkroyal at Pickering in the background

Pink Dot rally in 2014; Parkroyal at Pickering hotel in the background

A spokesman for the hotel, which is located on Pickering Street right next to where the rally is held annually in Hong Lim Park in Singapore’s CBD, told Mumbrella today that the company would be spending its CSR investments on other causes.

The hotel, which is part of the Asia-wide Parkroyal group of hotels, was a sponsor of the event last year along with BP, Google, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan, as well as contact lens maker Cooper Vision and local production company The Gunnery.

On sponsoring the event again this year, Goldman Sachs gave Mumbrella a statement that the company admitted it had used before: “Supporting events like Pink Dot is part of our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Attracting, retaining and motivating people from diverse backgrounds, including people of all sexual orientations, is essential to our success.”

News of the investment bank’s sponsorship of the event emerged earlier than planned last year too, when a minister warned foreign companies against creating “division” with its pro-gay policies in Singapore in a Facebook post that made headlines overseas. A story by BuzzFeed was titled ‘Top Singapore Official Attacks Goldman Sachs Over LGBT Student Event’.

The full list of sponsors for the rally, which is billed as a “show of solidarity against discrimination and ignorance”, is to be revealed next week at a launch event on 7 May, when Pink Dot is to unveil a campaign video directed by Singaporean film-maker Boo Junfeng.

Meanwhile, Pink Dot has expressed its “disappointment” over the continued support shown by furniture retailer Ikea for a magic show staged by local religious figure Lawrence Khong who is well known for his anti-LGBT beliefs.

In an editorial on Singapore newspaper TODAY’s website, Pink Dot spokesperson Paerin Choa said: “As customers, we have every right to voice our displeasure — respectfully — but let us not cut off the relationship altogether or risk becoming the mirror image of the very people denouncing other LGBT-affirmative firms with their brand of intolerance.”

“IKEA had made a business decision and, for better or worse, they will have to live with it, and justify it to its stakeholders,” Choa wrote. “Will that negate all the goodwill it has painstakingly built with the LGBT community? Only time will tell.”

Last year’s Pink Dot campaign video featured people talking about their sexuality and what “freedom to love” means to them.

Pink Dot has been running in annual support of Singapore’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community since 2009.

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