Singapore hotel apologizes for rejecting lesbian marriage

Parkroyal Collection Pickering Hotel in Singapore – Photo: Basile Morin, via Wikimedia

A five-star hotel in Singapore has apologized after telling a lesbian couple they couldn’t hold their wedding ceremony there.

The couple asked to hold their wedding celebration at the Parkroyal Collection Pickering, but their request was summarily denied by an employee.

“I am sorry to inform you that the hotel does not allow same-sex couples to hold a wedding ceremony and celebration due to regulations,” the email reads, referring to the country’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages.

The couple shared a screenshot of the exchange on Prout, a popular LGBTQ app in Singapore. The screenshot was later shared on Prout’s Instagram account last week, and went viral.

“We received a screenshot of an exchange between a lesbian couple and a 5-star hotel nearby Hong Lim Park which would disappoint many of us in the LGBTQ+ community. The email showed a response from hotel claiming it won’t host same-sex weddings *due to regulations,” Prout wrote in his post.

“Although we understand that same-sex marriage is not recognized in Singapore, it is not illegal to have a same-sex marriage in Singapore,” Prout acknowledged, in an aside.

“This is particularly disappointing as many members of our LGBTQ community regularly book hotel rooms at this particular hotel with vertical greenery, and the hotel clearly has no problem CAPITALIZING on the annual pride event. organized at Hong Lim Park, with pink dot guests booking their rooms or their pink dollar,” the post continued, referring to an annual LGBTQ Pride rally that is held next to the hotel.

“This is a PAINFUL reminder that there are many businesses that may claim to be LGBTQ+ inclusive but may not be doing so in their daily practice. On Google the hotel is listed as an LGBTQ+ friendly destination,” concluded the message.

The post garnered more than 2,000 likes and hundreds of comments, most of which expressed anger at the hotel for discriminating against the couple.

That said, there are no anti-discrimination laws in Singapore that prevent establishments from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, or require private establishments to serve same-sex couples, which means that there It is up to each establishment to define its own policies.

Shortly after Prout’s post went viral, the hotel issued an apology to the couple in a Instagram postwith a large image bearing the words “We’re sorry”.

“Thank you for your patience as we seek to understand this unfortunate error and the misinformation of one of our team members at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering,” the hotel message read. “We are an all-inclusive hotel, and we are truly sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this may have caused. We have since contacted the couple and will do our best to assist them on their special occasion at our hotel.

Phil Smith, managing director of the Parkroyal Collection Pickering, told the Singapore-based newspaper TODAY online that the hotel “would like to once again sincerely apologize for causing this disappointment to both the couple and the community at large”.

“When we were informed by our teams of this email, we immediately investigated the matter as it was not in line with the position of the hotel, which has shown itself to be open to welcoming all LGBTQ community events,” he said. “The partner who answered [to the couple] had made a truly regrettable mistake, with an erroneous presumption of the law, and responded without checking that with the department head.

Smith said hotel management spoke to the associate, who “feels very remorseful for this mistake and understands the upheaval it has caused the couple, whose special day has been impacted.”

Smith also acknowledged that the hotel “could have done better to ensure our team’s understanding of the regulations and our continued commitment to inclusivity.”

Smith said TODAY online that the hotel had personally contacted the couple, but noted that the couple had decided to look for another venue for their wedding.

The couple in question later acknowledged the hotel’s mea culpa in a statement, which was posted on Prout’s Instagram.

“We thank Parkroyal Pickering for issuing a public and private apology to us,” the couple wrote. “We hope that other hotels will take inspiration from Parkroyal Pickering and reconsider their own policies and communications to allow same-sex couples to hold their celebrations there.”

The statement was signed “thelesbiancouplewhojustwanted2gethiched”.

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