However, gay people have the space to live their lives in Singapore, he said. "We do not harass them or discriminate against them," he added while replying to a journalist from the Philippines who was interviewing him with other ASEAN journalists at an interview session with South East Asian journalists about the South East Asian Games .
Mr Lee noted that same-sex marriage is gaining acceptance in some developed countries such as Britain, and some states in the United States. He added, "even in America, there is very strong pushback from conservative groups". He compared this to Singapore including "religious groups who push back," which he said "is completely understandable."
PM Lee told the journalists: "The Government view is that where we are is not a bad place to be." He also said: "There is space for the gay community, but they should not push the agenda too hard because if they (do), there will be a very strong pushback."
In the 2011 book Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going, Singapore's first Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, PM Lee's father, said he believed homosexuality is in a person's genes: "Some people are that way and just leave them be." Mr Lee Kuan Yew also said homosexuality is "already accepted in China - it's a matter of time before it's accepted here."
Organizers of the annual Pink Dot rally, which attracted 26,000 people last year, have put out an open invitation for Lee to attend the upcoming rally on June 13 to "meet with the individuals, families, and loving couples who form a vibrant part of Singapore's social fabric."