|SINGAPORE - Jul 29, 2007
Singapore's first public gay pride festival, Indignation, took place in Aug 2005 and has become an annual event with larger premises and broader programs each subsequent year. The name is a foil to Singapore's melting pot National Day celebration, with its indigenous GLBT citizens indignant at being criminalized and discriminated against.
The 3rd annual Indignation kicks off Aug 1 and runs through the 15th. On the eve of this year's festival, Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, has taken a moment from his busy schedule with the visiting Royal Shakespeare Company to protest an antique British sodomy law that remains on Singapore's legal books despite recent recommendations from the Law Society of Singapore that it be removed.
"It would be impertinent of me to comment on Singapore society but this happens to be a law that I find personally offensive and I don't think it should be on the statute books because it inhibits my free behaviour as an openly gay man," he told Reuters.
"I feel free to comment on behalf of people who do have to suffer laws which the British empire invented and left behind."
See Sir Ian's full statement here: