Jerrod Carmichael
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Singapore Unbanned Gay Sex — But Not Gay Movies

lightyear

It’s one step forward, one step back for LGBTQ+ Singaporeans.

Despite announcing on Sunday that it would abolish Section 377A of the Penal Code, a law that criminalized sex between men, Singapore’s government also announced that it will double down on its restrictions of LGBTQ+ content in films released in the city-state.

“MCI and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) regulate media content to protect younger audiences from age-inappropriate content, and at the same time enable mature audiences to make informed choices over a diverse range of content,” Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information said in a statement.

“Our content regulatory approach has to be sensitive to societal norms and values,” it continued. “We will continue to take reference from prevailing norms. LGBT media content will continue to warrant higher age ratings.”

Singapore recently gave the family film Lightyear an NC16 rating, meaning that children under the age of 16 were not allowed to see it, because of a single same-sex kiss in the film.

“This being a children’s cartoon, a significant number of FCP members felt that the overt depiction of same-gender marriage would warrant a higher rating,” Cheryl Ng, the chairperson of the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s Films Consultative Panel said. “Even among members who were willing to consider a lower rating, some were uncomfortable that this would mean it can be shown unedited, to a broad-based audience on Free-to-Air TV.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the end of Section 377A on TV on Sunday, saying that it would align Singapore’s legal systems with “current social mores, and I hope, provide some relief to gay Singaporeans.”

However, at the same time, Lee said that the government will also strengthen its current laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

RELATED | 6 Disney Films Banned in Other Countries For LGBTQ+ Content

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