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ASIA - Jul 3, 2003

The current issue of TIME Asia quotes Singaporean officials as recognizing the contribution of gays to its economy despite conservative elements within its society.

Vivian Balakrishnan, the government official in charge of the Remaking Singapore Committee says that the city-state will do "whatever it takes" to attract talent, noting the relaxation of officially sanctioned repression of homosexual citizens as evidenced by the growing number of saunas, discos, and bars that promote directly to a gay clientele.

Prime Minister Goh is quoted as saying that the Singaporean government now employs openly gay workers, including men and women in sensitive positions. The change in policy has been quietly introduced in the hope of attracting more foreign workers to contribute their talents to niche areas of the local economy.

Goh goes on to say, "So let it evolve, and in time the population will understand that some people are born that way. We are born this way and they are born that way, but they are like you and me."


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