Singapore’s sixth annual Pink Dot festival drew record crowds today, despite prominent protests from religious groups.

The organisers of the festival confirmed earlier this week that they would deploy security personnel for the first time, to protect participants from any clashes with opposition groups.

Earlier this week, Christian and Muslim groups in Singapore joined forces to protest against the rally, in opposition to the “normalization of LGBT” and “public promotion of homosexuality”.

The highlight of the day-long celebrations is the formation of a circular crowd of people wearing pink, an aerial photograph of which produces the ‘pink dot’ itself to indicate the volume of participants each year.

Despite the strong opposition, the crowd of 26,000 is the largest ever at the event, up from an estimated 21,000 people at last year’s event.

It is ten times the number of people who attended the first rally, which was held in 2009.

Paerin Choa, Spokesperson for Pink Dot Sg said: “It is very heartening to see the dot growing year on year.
“We believe that this sends a strong message of love and acceptance, affirming that Singapore is a home for one and all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We are, at the end of the day, one big national Family, and it is especially humbling this year, to see the sheer support we have received from Singaporeans from all walks of life.

“Pink Dot remains committed to championing for an all-inclusive Singapore.

“Even as we remain mindful of opposition from certain quarters, we are confident that this Little Red Dot we call home is large enough for us all to co-exist peacefully, respectfully and with dignity.”

Section 377A of the Singaporean Penal Code forbids male same-sex acts, although female same-sex sexual activity was legalised in 2007. Although the law is sporadically enforced, a constitutional challenge against it was dismissed by courts last year.