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As equality laws are being revised worldwide, the Singapore courts have been petitioned to declare that Constitutional equality should apply in the workplace.

Lawrence Wee Kim San was recently dismissed by Robinsons, the iconic department store, on the grounds of sexual orientation.

In a historic application, Wee, a former senior management executive, is applying to the High Court here to declare that Article 12 should apply to all forms of discrimination at work.

The city state, heavily dependent on high-skilled labour, has sought to make Singapore attractive to professionals. In recent years, the economy has stepped up efforts to stem the outflow of Singaporean and foreign professionals, attracted by rapid development in neighbouring countries.

In May 2011, at the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Review, the Singapore government declared, “The principle of equality of all persons before the law is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, regardless of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Wee’s application, widely regarded as a test case, is expected to declare the law in respect of workplace discrimination. Having significant implications for labour relations, it will be watched closely when it is heard in November.

A group of concerned citizens, calling themselves Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee, have come together to support the application. Dr Roy Tan, a spokesperson for the committee said, “Our name makes reference to the Constitutional provision that entitles everybody to equal protection of the law.”

Wee’s lawyers noted, “With the challenge before the Court, Mr Wee, on behalf of all Singaporeans, is seeking a declaration that Article 12 should be interpreted to confirm the government’s position that all persons, regardless of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, are indeed and in fact protected by Singapore’s employment laws.”

Dr Tan added, “In the coming days, the Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee will release further information on the campaign and opportunities for like-minded individuals to show their support.”

For further information, please contact Article 12 Non-discrimination @ Workplace Committee at: article12campaign@gmail.com.

Trevvy:This declaration on employment equality is of great importance largely because it directly concerns the bread and butter of members within our community. We hope that you will do your part to spread the message, support the cause and for a workplace without discrimination.

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    Page 1 of 1
    Posted by lawnetus Icon
    Posted on 05/10/2013, 12:07 AM
    Singapore lacks employment protection. Support this cause. It will benefit YOU.
    Posted by onefishtwofish Icon
    Posted on 07/10/2013, 01:19 AM
    Our esteemed Judge Quentin Loh doesn't believe that the court's role is to protect the people from Parliament passing unjust laws. You really think employment protection will happen for LGBT employees?
    Posted by lawnetus Icon
    Posted on 07/10/2013, 11:34 AM
    Yes, onefishtwofish, we believe it will happen in time. The bigotry we fight cannot be won in just one or two battles. It's a war and, as in any kind of war, we will lose some battles. Stonewall wasn't won in a day. It took the blood of Harvey Milk and other brave souls like him to win the war for the entire LGBT community in the US. Support us. It will benefit YOU.
    Posted by Nani Icon
    Posted on 08/10/2013, 12:06 AM
    Yes, this is one cause worth supporting!
    Posted by PGEM Icon
    Posted on 08/10/2013, 10:35 AM
    Having personally experienced discrimination at the workplace, I urge all who have suffered similar wrongful treatment to be bold and stand up against these bullies and make this world, in particularly Singapore, a truly inclusive society where discrimination of any sorts will not be tolerated.
    Posted by PGEM Icon
    Posted on 08/10/2013, 10:35 AM
    Having personally experienced discrimination at the workplace, I urge all who have suffered similar wrongful treatment to be bold and stand up against these bullies and make this world, in particularly Singapore, a truly inclusive society where discrimination of any sorts will not be tolerated.
    Page 1 of 1