April 9, 2008 / 11:50 AM / in 12 years

Singapore fines cable firm for ad with lesbian kiss

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Two women kissing in an advertisement led Singapore to fine a cable operator for breaching guidelines on sexuality in the conservative city-state.

Singapore’s Media Development Authority, which regulates and censors media and the arts, said on Wednesday it fined StarHub S$10,000 ($7,246) for airing a commercial for a song that featured “romanticised scenes” of lesbians kissing and portrayed the relationship as “acceptable”.

The music video of the song, titled “Silly Child” by Mandarin singer Olivia Yan, shows an intimate kissing scene before one of the women rejects her boyfriend at the end of the clip.

“This is in breach of the TV advertising guidelines, which disallows advertisements that condone homosexuality,” the media authority said.

Singapore bans sex between men and any man found to have committed an act of “gross indecency” with another man could be jailed for up to two years. There is no legislation on sex between women.

Some homosexuals have deemed the ban as discriminatory and archaic, but Singapore defends it as necessary for the city-state to uphold its conservative values. Charges under the law are rare.

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