Re: [Mtgvenue] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

Ole Jacobsen <olejacobsen@me.com> Thu, 26 May 2016 15:30 UTC

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Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 08:30:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ole Jacobsen <olejacobsen@me.com>
To: nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com
Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
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Nalini,

(see also answer from Harish)

The questions you list are almost identical to ones that were compiled 
based on early discussions on this list and which have been presented 
to various parties in Singapore and to folks in same-sex relationships 
who travel there frequently. The answers to all questions were, as you 
might expect, "no issues." These answers has been countered as 
"unhelpful" by some because they do not offer an iron-clad guarantee,
and of course the law in question still is on the books and therefore 
there is a perceived risk and uncertainty about its application.

The IAOC or its committees is not set up to offer legal or medical 
advice nor even much travel advice beyond basic information. What the 
IAOC has done is evaluate the information received and researched
following the announcement in BA.

Speaking only for myself, I believe we can have a successful meeting 
in Singapore and that none of the concerns raised will be experienced 
by any participant or family for this meeting.

Let me just add that Singapore is one of the top destinations in the
world for conferences and major events of all kinds (F-1 racing being
perhaps the most famous) as well as a major medical destination for
all of Asia. Many large corporations and organizations have offices
in Singapore. I personally do not believe that these organizations
and events would continue to support Singapore (financially) if there
were frequent reports of harassment and discrimination for visitors.

This is not to say that life for the LGBT community in Singapore is
without problems or that the laws shouldn't be changed. But I agree
with you that moving the meeting would not be in the best interest
of the IETF.

Finally, the discussion about what requirements we should apply when
choosing future venues continues and it is ultimately up to the
community to decide what criteria should be applied when selecting
meeting locations. That's still work-in-progress!

Ole


Ole J. Jacobsen
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