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Singapore Bans Music Video for Its Pro-LGBT Content

Screenshot from Jolin Tsai's music video 'We're All Different, Yet The Same'

Screenshot from Jolin Tsai's music video ‘We're All Different, Yet The Same’

UPDATE: The government's Media Development Authority has confirmed that it advised local broadcasters in Singapore not to air the music video because of ‘mature content’.

Reports have emerged that Taiwanese pop songstress Jolin Tsai's song and her music video “We're All Different, Yet The Same” has been banned from broadcast in Singapore.

Singapore's Media Development Authority has reportedly sent notices to television and radio stations in the city-state informing them that the song and music video should not be aired. According to reports, this was because the lyrics encourage marriage equality for same-sex couples, which is in conflict with local laws. The music video is about a lesbian couple who has been living together for three decades.

Gay rights has long been a controversial issue in Singapore, where politicians often assert that the populace is still too conservative to be ready for further acceptance of LGBT rights. A constitutional challenge to Section 377A of the Penal Code – which criminalises sex between men – was dismissed last year by the country's apex court.

The ban was supported by some Singaporeans, especially those who have been vocal in their opposition against pro-LGBT rights events like Pink Dot. Adi Asjor at the We are against Pinkdot in Singapore Facebook page was in support:

What is the purpose of this marriage? To be happy for today? To satisfy their needs for today? What about tomorrow? Who will take care of their old age needs being childless (don't talk about adoption cos the child is the offspring of a man and wife). What about the next generation – same sex marriage means, simply put, the end of the road for them. Marriage is about procreation, about a system of family with children, about education, about the future of mankind. Marriage between man and woman is the foundation of the future of mankind. This IS the core value people must NOT forget.

Yet the news, which began to circulate on the day Ireland voted to allow same-sex marriage, frustrated many Singaporeans:

Blogger and LGBT rights activist Alex Au criticised the MDA's decision:

By contrast, the MDA’s move is not just regressive, it is risibly petty and self-defeating. Like many people, I had never heard of this song before. But now, it is being shared by many on social media. I am pretty sure Pink Dot organisers are thinking of a way to weave it into this year’s event.

Do they think Singapore can remain exactly where we are while the world moves on?

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