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25 Apr 2008

singapore TV station fined S$15,000 for showing a ''normal'' gay family

The authorities has fined a free-to-air station S$15,000 for airing a programme that showed a gay couple and their adopted baby; on the same day, a segment of the Ellen DeGeneres Show where the host condemned homophobia and the recent murder of a 15-year-old gay student was glaringly snipped by the same TV station.

Shortly after slapping a cable TV channel with a S$10,000 (US7,360) fine for airing a commercial that showed two women kissing, the Media Development Authority (MDA) yesterday fined a free-to-air station S$15,000 for airing a programme that showed a gay couple and their adopted baby.

Fridae columnist and blogger Alex Au recently called into question the role of the Media Development Authority and its unilateral powers to play ''prosecutor, judge and jury'' in fining websites and television stations for breaching its rules. The link to the article 'Prosecute or nothing' (on Alex's blog Yawning Bread) is available at the end of the article.
Announcing its decision on its website on Thursday, MDA said the home and decor programme titled Find and Design which was aired on Channel 5, Jan 13, 2008 at 7.30am "normalises and promotes a gay lifestyle."

The couple was having a room transformed into a new nursery.

The authority took issue with the presenter who congratulated and acknowledged the gay couple and their baby as a family unit "in a way which normalises their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup."

"This is in breach of the Free-to-Air TV Programme Code which disallows programmes that promote, justify or glamourise gay lifestyles."

The statement read: "MDA also consulted the Programme Advisory Committee for English Programmes (PACE) and the Committee was also of the view that a gay relationship should not be presented as an acceptable family unit."

The programme was first highlighted by a Bennie Cheok who wrote to the press complaining that "the absence of the opposite gender in the family nucleus will, no doubt, leave young viewers bewildered" and urged the broadcaster to "be more selective."

Nominated Member of Parliament Thio Li-Ann - best known for her anal sex is like shoving a straw up your nose analogy speech in Parliament last year - raised the matter in Parliament in early March.

In response, the Senior Minister of State for Information, Communication and the Arts, Balaji Sadasivan, said that the gay relationship was merely an "incidental feature" of the programme, and that Singaporeans would "need to take a balanced view."

He however added that Singapore TV would continue to promote traditional family values and that the relevant authority will look into the incident.

Under Singapore's penal code, homosexuality is punishable of up to two years although the authorities have announced that consensual sexual behaviour in private between adult men will not be enforced.

On the same day of the announcement, a 3-minute segment of the Ellen DeGeneres Show where the host condemned homophobia and spoke about the recent fatal shooting of a 15-year-old gay student in school, was censored on MediaCorp's Channel 5.

A source who alerted Fridae about the omitted segment said she first saw the episode online and was looking out for it on local TV as it was a powerful appeal urging viewers to reexamine their misconceptions about gay people.

The episode, which aired Feb 28 in the US and Apr 24 in Singapore, showed the usually cheerful talk show host nearing tears as she spoke about the circumstances surrounding the murder. The day before Larry was murdered, he had asked his killer and schoolmate, Brandon, to be his Valentine.

"I don't want to be political, this is not political, I'm not a political person but this is personal to me. A boy has been killed and a number of lives have been ruined and somewhere along the line, the killer, Brandon, got the message that it's so threatening and so awful and so horrific that Larry would want to be his Valentine; that killing Larry seemed to be the right thing to do. And when the message out there is so horrible that to be gay, you can get killed for it, we need to change the message."

The openly gay host added: "Larry was not a second-class citizen. I'm not a second-class citizen. It is OK if you are gay."

"I would like you to start paying attention to how often being gay is the punchline of a monologue or how often gay jokes are in a movie," DeGeneres said. "And that kind of message, laughing at someone because they're gay, is just the beginning. It starts with laughing at someone, and then it's verbal abuse, then it's physical abuse, and it's this kid Brandon killing a kid like Larry."

Correction [Apr 27, 2008]
The segment of The Ellen Degeneres Show that was not aired on Apr 24 on MediaCorp's Channel 5 was not about Larry King but the talk show host's response to Oklahoma state legislator Sally Kern's homophobic remarks to her Republican colleagues. The episode was aired Mar 12, 2008 in the US.

We apologise for the error and appeal for information from readers whether the Larry King episode/segment was ever aired in Singapore.

On the show, the audience heard Kern's speech which was leaked to the public.

"Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more then a few decades," said Kern. "I honestly think it's the biggest threat even, that our nation has, even more so than terrorism, or Islam, which I think is a big threat okay. Cause what's happening now is they are going after, in schools, two-year olds... And this stuff is deadly, and it's spreading, and it will destroy our young people, it will destroy this nation."

During the show's taping, DeGeneres quipped: "I feel like there's some misinformation gong on here and I think I need to call her. She's clearly just mistaken. She's talked to someone and they confused her."

The automated voice mail system however indicated that Kern's inbox was full when the show's host attempted to call her.


Reader's Comments

Comment #1 was deleted by its author
2. 2008-04-25 20:49  
Hmmm, well, I just fired off an email to the MDA, in my typically cutting and outraged way. Then again, I recognise that it's a hell of a lot easier for ME to do that, than for Singaporeans living there.

But, Jesus, it bothers the hell out of me that other people in MY trade - the media - are so willing to act like that! How do the MDA justify their actions? How do other journalists/media people - necessary for the actions and running of the MDA - actively pursue this kind of action?

It's disgraceful. In one of last week's newspapers, I had to make an entire photo gallery page of a room full of Irish business people giving a standing ovation to Ireland's most openly gay politician, who was the guest speaker at a dinner event. Were we promoting him and his 'gayness'? If we had ran that gallery in Singapore, and if people had read my blurb praising the noted bon viveur, would my paper have been fined $20,000?

I'm sick of seeing stories about the MDA handing out big fines over the most trivial of things, and wating tax payers' money to charge after irrelevant matters. In an era where global warming is affecting millions, where access to clean water and oil are set to define the next world/localised wars, when super diseases are rising against ineffectual antibiotics, and so on and so forth, it is both an embarrassment and a shame that the Singaporean government, via the MDA, has nothing better to focus its power on.

Perhaps the MDA would like to advise Singaporean AND International media folk via press releases why Homosexuals Are Evil/Sick/A Menace To Society (in ways which, oddly enough, the Western world doesn't think - only "modern, progressive, fair and united Singapore")...
3. 2008-04-25 20:51  
That should say 'wasting', not 'wating'. I can't type for toffee on laptops...!
4. 2008-04-25 21:21  
Is it possible certain religious factions actually want and encourage the government to look ridiculous, for their own political ends?
5. 2008-04-25 23:10  
Those who called for boycotting Beijing Olympics probably would call for boycotting Singapore Youth Olympics for this incident.

I would respect whoever with this kind of idea solely for the sake of respecting freedom of speech, but I would strongly oppose this idea and do anything I can to confront them.
6. 2008-04-26 00:00  
this is the most ridiculous, singapore is such a real narrowminded , homophobic society , repressived authorities who think being straight is the glamorous species and lifestyle. it is ridiculous and a joke to censor real life on what gay people are like having family etc .
7. 2008-04-26 00:01  
I'll give the broadcaster some benefit of doubt here. Maybe they have to comply with SG Regulation in order to maintain there licence.
But was the news of the murder of the gay student censored ? That is outrageous if true - almost as if SG Authorities were accepting such homophobic behaviour.
It'll be interesting to see what coverage this gets when it reaches Court.
I feel so sorry for the victims mother.
8. 2008-04-26 00:28  
The authority should learn to respect Singaporeans as thinking individuals with capacity to make judgment on life choices, in the same way they decide who goes into the government. In fact the incident is making the gay acceptance issue political. Let the people who object to gay speak up themselves. Why is the authority involved at all? Are we that sure what the authority thinks is unhealthy content really unhealthy at all? See life in its natural form and don't try to shape it. I think the acceptance of gay in Singapore is more than what the government claims to be. How can an open society be this "closed" and lifeless?
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10. 2008-04-26 00:42  
until singapore is dragged before an international court of human rights and publicly embarassed in an international forum, this will continue. there is nothing like international bad publicity to focus the political attention of a trade dependent country. failing that ... someone find the tap in malaysia and turn the water off until they come to their senses
11. 2008-04-26 00:43  
In a way..the authority also support the killing ?!!
12. 2008-04-26 00:55  
it's crazy,
i don't see any point that da authority has to fine the TV station.
i always like the city, but don't know it's becoming this cruel.
this is something we won't see in Taiwan,
gosh, ppl in my country talk good things abt S'pore
da authority shouldn't ruin that fame ...
13. 2008-04-26 01:33  
Each time I read such an article, I feel ashamed to be a Singaporean.

14. 2008-04-26 01:37  
Ellen has a very strong message, but sadly, it had been edited out, it's like trying to say that she is wrong and nobody should listen to that. Discrimination in any form is wrong so why do they encourage and condone homophobic behavior? There is definitely nothing wrong about being gay, so why every piece of news appearing in the press in Singapore about our community is almost always negative? They don't have to 'glamorize the gay lifestyle', but they don't need to create a negative image of us or forcibly deny our existence in this society. One of the reasons why there is so much hate in the world is because of the many misinformations that people are receiving. I have no qualms regarding the use of propaganda but it is definitely wrong to use it to sow discord or to create segregation within the society.
15. 2008-04-26 01:39  
i find it awkward that to see out out Singaporean can be, but not the government.
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17. 2008-04-26 03:51  
This is appaling. i have no words.but there's a feeling of anger and disgust running all over my body after reading this article and knowing the ridiculous censorship on DeGenere's message - which is only trying to say "stop discriminating and judging, so that these crimes dont happen again".
Maybe it's time for singaporeans to really question the mental health of the people in parliament and government?are the prices of condos and real estate more important than basic human rights?it seems so.
18. 2008-04-26 05:40  
Pathetic. Next thing you know, they'll banned men from wearing pink.
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21. 2008-04-26 07:24  
On the bright side, Johann Lee's first book has been elected to be included in the Singapore literature anthology. Those MDA folks are confusing me. When I was in Singapore, I learnt that it was alright to have Jack Neo cross-dressing as an old lady on the Chinese channel but Kumar had to be butch on public TV. What's the deal with this double standard? I suspect they have no idea about where the line really is! If anything, the authorities are as confused as a gay teenager in the closet, if not more. Look at this article. Now imagine how many more will flock online to youtube to see what was banned. In many ways, thanks for the censorship. Thanks, because all their intentions only end up backfiring at their faces.
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23. 2008-04-26 07:30  
That is "controlled" oppression and imprinting into another generation of hatred and discrimination.

Recently I have discovered through my research the cost of HIV treatment here. It is said to be "subsidised". Yes, mark up 200 % and charge 100% markup. In that case, the government subsidise you 100%. They even try to convince the sufferers that they should continue all treatments in Singapore. And when it comes to affordability, they send the bill to your home, to the horror of the sufferer, if you cannot afford to pay. They actually adopted the loanshark tactic more or less. What compassion is that adopted by the government ???

It is very sad that here in Singapore, we are wanted here purely for economic reasons. During the debate on 377A, many have highlighted discrimination issues. I have the opinion that if we are not taken lightly, we should start leaving Singapore if we have the means as we are made used of by our own government. They want only our talents, but not what we are. But then, many said that it is a cowardly move. I still believe it is a strategic move and continue to urge all to do so.

24. 2008-04-26 07:45  
IDIOTs. Ignorance. Discrimination. Injustice. Oppression. Tactless.
As long as these IDIOTs keep running around, there will always be hatred and fear surrounding our community. I'm deeply disheartened and saddened by the whole episode.

Let it stop....
25. 2008-04-26 09:17  
We will never change. We've been fighting against crap like this since 1999 and still the government chooses to regard us as a bunch of decadent germ carriers.

In the end, each gay man or woman has to decide whether living under this sort of oppression is justified. For those people who have the means, I say just leave for a while.

For those finance and trade ppl who are reading this, I say, be warned, Singapore is so antiseptic that it might just sterilise your sexuality into non-existence
26. 2008-04-26 17:36  
There was a time when women who wore trousers were frowned upon. A similar time, whence you could be lynched on a tree just because you looked and thought differently. And today, we admonish ourselves for being so ignorant and apologise in our hearts for the sins of our forefather's ignorance. And today, we are beset upon, by governments who have the right to punish us for differences that are not all that dissimilar. With what might? Why, an arrogance borne of ignorance, dressed as righteousness.

All this stemmed from fear. Fear of those who are different. Fear that these differences many, one day, impinge themselves on our lives. Fear that we're not all that different.

I live in fear as well. I fear that amongst me are people who are for all intents and purposes, seem good but clearly afraid of the way I live; and rather than understand me, will choose to punish me for not conforming. And at the end of the day, there is the fear and abhorrence of fear itself.
27. 2008-04-26 18:00  
If all the GLBT in Singapore ought to try one thing: pull out all their investments and businesses in Singapore, how much would this affect the Singapore economy? Would the local govt panic & start reconsidering their stand? Hmm...
28. 2008-04-26 19:26  
we should all write to ellen ....or the ellen show..she would definatly want to know about this..:P
29. 2008-04-26 19:49  
As an expat living in Singapore, I am appalled and disgusted that this is still tolerated by the larger community.

I am seriosuly considering the cancellation of my work visa. I don't consider myself a second-class citizen, and therefore do not wish to be in a country that defines me as one.
30. 2008-04-26 19:50  
i personally and honestly feel that the fine to both the television operators for broadcasting the "glamourous" lifestyle of gay as an act of prejudice towards the LGBT population in singapore.

in the previous heated argument for the repealing of 377A which was eventually unsuccessful, the government has stated they very well come to the understanding that "we" hereby refers to the gay community exists in this island of ours, and that no doubt, we are also part of the general crowd or the only resource, pushing the nation's economy moving.

no doubt, i have to agree that perhaps, many people are still not up to the ability to come openly and accept that there are people who there, who might be different from the rest, but they should by now, realizes that we are no longer "hiding" or transparent.

it was once mentioned that one way to start coming together united as one singapore, is by education. we need to start allowing the rest of the people, those who are rather ignorant about us, that we exist, and our lifestyles are not very much different from theirs. how do we start, if we are constantly being restricted, and given a biased outlook of everything. by fining these two operators, not only show that singapore is not only not accepting, and against this. isn't this contradicting?

are we today going to start limiting every body's usage of the internet today because we are certain our online tracks are left behind by the newly installed system just to make sure that no gay influences is allowed to stream to the general population?

let me remind everyone, gay is nothing wrong here. it's formerly proven genetic. and till today, there are no other theories. if one is gay, he is, if he is not, no matter what gay movies, or gay documentaries, will never change his idea to be gay.

hence, i hope that there will be a day, whereby something can be done. showing such shows, doesn't make anyone gay, but just make us come out to be who we are.

31. 2008-04-26 19:51  
As an expat living in Singapore, I am appalled and disgusted that this is still tolerated by the larger community.

I am seriosuly considering the cancellation of my work visa. I don't consider myself a second-class citizen, and therefore do not wish to be in a country that defines me as one.
32. 2008-04-26 20:25  
I was shocked to read this article and saddened by the insecurity of the Singapore government, which in many ways is advanced but not socially. I think many "normal family units" in my country will look at this and consider Singapore a socially undeveloped country. Unfortunately, the government represents its people. Unless the people of singapore voice their annoyance then this will continue.
33. 2008-04-26 20:37  
This is the main reason why i am working towards getting myself out of Singapore. As a Singaporean, I am tired and sad to say my tolerance level has reached its limit and I have zero energy on what MDA, obvious DICTATES to what viewers in Singapore should see and should not see.

Enough is enough. I used to hesitate getting out of this country, but right now I have never been more sure. Singapore can really kiss my @$$ cos frankly, I am sick of watching all this really crappy local TV programs that is nothing more than lame, mediocre, boring & mostly ANNOYING - 'En Bloc', 'My Sassy Neighbor', ''The Showdown' anyone?!! Where Singaporeans should be educated to know the real problems in the world that is affecting us - global warming, terrorism, bigotry, hate-crimes... Shouldn't all this be part of our everyday learning culture?

Apart from that, there was this segment in ELLEN on 24April, whereby an American woman was talking $h!T about homosexualilty being a disease and trying to ruin the lives of 2 year-olds - HUH?!! And tghat segment was cut off cos that episode was aired the same time in MUMBAI where i was at. INDIA - the most conservative country would aired that episode whereas Singapore - deemed a democratic country would be so ANAL over such trivial things...

No longer am I standing up for you, SINGAPORE!! U and the so-called government can kiss my @$$!
34. 2008-04-26 20:46  
Oh yeah, did i forgot to mention when comes to trivial issues like MEDIA censorship, the government is so uptight. Funny isn't it? So focused on making sure the media doesn't broadcast programmes or messages to glamorize homosexual lifestyle, and when it comes to major political and social SECURITY issues like in the Mas Selemat escape, which led to a nationwide hunt - this obviously showcase the severe LAPSE in their security level.

The local authorities should really question their PRIORITIES!!!

35. 2008-04-27 00:25  
I was reminded again last night of the censorship issues in Singapore, and how determined the SG government is to crack down on any 'positive promotion or portrayal of homosexuality'.

On one of our many, many boring TV programmes giving roundups of what's happening around Ireland, there was a segment on a lesbian sports team, smilingly presented by the middle-aged presenter in as neutrally a way as though it was just another feature on a farmers' market or a choir performance at a cathedral or developing high-speed broadband rings in rural Ireland or Whatever. In other words, it was Just Another Segment; not in any way patronising or titillating.

So... are we, as ordinary people in Ireland, 'decadent', by the Singaporean government's standards? Are the grannies and mums and retired dads and schoolkids and Everyone watching that show somehow being corrupted by homosexuality? How can Our country be so accepting of gay life - Politically, at least - when Singapore would have fined the TV studio for showing that segment?

Why doesn't Fridae Ever seem to look for an official verdict on these issues, or why doesn't Fridae set up a tough Q&A asking the SG government to justify its continuing persecution of the gay community, especially on an international website such as Fridae? Who's afraid of who?!
36. 2008-04-27 00:50  
The Nanny State Strikes Again!
37. 2008-04-27 01:07  
i'm a little disappointed, for lack of better adjectives.
38. 2008-04-27 01:08  
and seriously this bennie fellow... is he sheltered or what? mda might as well take ellen off the channel since she's successful, clever, gay and normal. pfft.
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42. 2008-04-27 05:48  
Also, this Censorship/Fine story was covered in today's Guardian.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how the SG gov promotes equality and fairness for all by 'picking' on gay people there...
43. 2008-04-27 07:03  
For a state that excels at being mediocre in media, they are getting really good at making new record lows.
44. 2008-04-27 09:10  
Ostriches with their heads in the sand!

Singaporeans: write to the prime minister, all the minsters, and your representative in parliament. Get your friends, colleagues and family to write. Be polite and respectful but be firm and assertive. For myself I see the issue as one of Singapore progressing and joining the developed nations. The economic angle, too, is one that the government would respond to: the capital generated by the arts, fashion, tourism, and so on. Addressing the issue to the government from a perspective of "we are equal" is not going to be as effective at this stage, even though we are; they do not yet publicly see it. What they see and know is money. The economic angle of any issue is what is going to get this government's attention.

Don't think "I am just one person so I will make no difference". And don't just grumble privately. Do something actively about it! Get this country's leaders to take their collective head out of the sand!
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46. 2008-04-27 09:49  
ah well what to do, there are some hardliners out there, Pharisees every one of them. I bet some of them regularly have a straw stuck up their nose but are totally in denial of it.
47. 2008-04-27 10:03  
Its strange that there is such a furore in the world press about human rights in China.

Strangely enough, China is becoming more open about gay rights than Singapore...

Condemning Ellen for standing up against discrimination? What next?
48. 2008-04-27 10:58  
Homosexuality should be a social issue, not political. But ..
.as long as the penal code against homosexuality in SG exists, nothing is going to change.
.as long as the media has no freedom to publish its contents, nothing is going to change.
.as long as the ruling party has landslide victory of more than 70% votes during elections nothing is going to change.
49. 2008-04-27 11:11  
i had given up feeling singaporean a long time ago, when i was discriminated against personally for who i am. this re-affirms my lack of patriotism for this retarded island.
50. 2008-04-27 12:30  
TV being regulated, shows being censored, these are all part of Singapore 'policy' or agenda to make Singapore to increase its birth rate..

Nuclear family from hetero is [normal], gay family is [not normal], SO:

What is "normal" then??
"Normal" is just the vast majority who are out there, forming the one standard deviation (SD) away from the mean under the STUPID normal distribution bell curve.
The rest of us who are falling outside this stupid normal 1 SD, are all to be labeled as "Abnormal" and being cast aside.

Why should there be any discrimination and prejudice going on?
So being a homosexual is really wrong? You judge it.
Isn't homosexual, in terms of [sexual orientation], are not much different from the rest of the mainstream hetero community?
If some were to seriously discriminate us, why I don't see any strong discrimination against people who are different in Singapore, eg. Skin color?


And if any law were to discriminate homosexuals just because of their sexual orientation, I don't see how it may be considered as "Justice and Equality" to the citizen.
51. 2008-04-27 13:01  
I shouldn't give my adversaries resentment when they goad me. Though it is official that I am "unacceptable', second class citizen, I am never a second class human being. It is cruel to be picked on just because you are gay, and they are endorsing that anti-gay hate is ok.

Silencing something that is so right as what Ellen is trying to say is the last bell ringing that we are not, and will never be accepted or welcome here.

I didn't choose to be born gay or Singaporean, but I certainly won't overstay the inhospitality when I can help it. I live for my goals, my motivations now. I live in the sense of solidarity and support of my community, wherever I belong to. I give my peace to them, my family who honours me for who I am.

Do not fall into the trap of hate. For hate would only consume you; and poison your trust and belief in people who matters. But that does not mean you forgive and forget. I banish this wrongness to the darkest place in my heart where it festers in grudge, ill-will, and apathy towards them bigots. Let them be destroyed, not me.

Living well is the best revenge.
52. 2008-04-27 13:15  
Singapore is a practical society. Economics takes priority over justice, equality, patriotism, integrity.

Gays are accepted so long as they help bring in the dollars.

So...do unto others what you would have them do to you....

Treat Singapore the same....stay here, grow your wealth as long as it's expedient. One day, if it's no longer worth staying here because money is not good, leave. Go somewhere you are welcomed and loved as you are.

Let the hypocrites stay here and wallow in their self righteousness.

The world is our oyster...cash out from Singapore when it's time, and forget about justice, equality, patriotism, integirty in your dealing with this society that tramples on these values. Take your honor elsewhere people truly live in justice, equality, patriotism and integrity.

I am not tyring to promote sainthood by talking about such value but just plain human sense of right and wrong.

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57. 2008-04-27 20:17  
Could fridae journalists approach Ellen for a comment?

Anyone who would like to comment on this butchery of her show could do so here in the section "800 ways to say thanks":

58. 2008-04-27 23:07  
So basically what it means here is... The Singapore Government is ok to have gay things featured on thier TV but only selected ones like things that will make us look deviant or a joke. But it is not ok to let people know we are humans too, who love, eat, live and that most of us actually (God forbid) look like everyone else.

The media has a right to educate the public, ok forget that but at least give an accurate impression of us.
59. 2008-04-27 23:54  
Gay or straight or bi are all human being.We are all GOD creation..what's wrong with gay??I never ask to be born as gay but i'am gay..so WTF wrong with me??why do people have to think negative of being gay..I'm gay and i'm beautful:) so be it!
60. 2008-04-28 05:09  
The one simple rule of governance is: You get what you allow. If enough Singaporeans individually allow their rights to be watered down and ignored, then nothing will change, as it is collective action that changes powers; changes the world.

After all, a man shouts with one voice, but Man shouts with many. It is hard to stand up and be counted; it is hard to face a bully, alone - and, don't forget, the whole issue of gay rights is just one area that the SG gov is failing on, as, to an external pair of eyes, there are many flaws in SG governance and society.

However, as long as gay men and women, and their families, friends, colleagues and neighbours Allow their rights to be treated as secondary, and Allow the SG government to 'give' equality with one hand, yet taketh it away with the other, and Allow a new generation to grow up listening to a majority voice preaching intolerance and injustice, rather than respect and equality - Well, nothing will change.

Individually, you are Nothing. Collectively, you are a force to be reckoned with. Until 'you' realise that, nothing will change there...
61. 2008-04-28 09:46  
gay is a perfectly natural way of being we are gay from our hearts no one trained us to be gay , on the opposite religions are forces upon us and we are RAPED by religion from early age this is not normal this should be condemned.i will soon sue the catholic church for this in the UK where was Christianized against my free will , but today i an gay and proud of my own free will.
62. 2008-04-28 10:20  
I feel so sorry for my gay brothers and sisters in Singapore who really ARE BEING RAPED of their human rights. So much potential in Singapore, but so much potential that will never be converted into reality because of their evil government.
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65. 2008-04-28 12:14  
Stonewall was not premeditated but a spontaneous event, imitating others is not necessarily the best solution, best to define and direct ones self on ones own terms and by representing your self as a participant of the culture /society you exist in and not as some sort of separate 'ethnic' self marginalizing minority as the queer lobby does could well benefit. I can't help wondering that if christian philosophical pollution hadn't had influenced 'traditional Chinese values' there wouldn't be this problem in modern day Singapore, seeming they are so adamant about Chinese traditional values it would be good to look to a time before this contamination occurred, best weapon for Asian homosexuals is not to ape western homosexuals as they are seen to squander their freedom and do not leave a great argument for Gay law reform to Singapore's present leadership, to be seen as prudent decent thinking health concerned contributors to your society while arguing your case for relevant equal freedoms may be a better strategy, and one you may well win, following the present western queering agenda will lead to nothing.
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70. 2008-04-28 13:01  
Politics is such that the majority will win. Since such is the case, the more we pursue a certain issue without intergrity and within an accepted universal "morals", our "voices" will never be taken seriously. To the majority of Singaporeans, gays are associated with pornography, indecent exposures, child molestation, AIDS , toilet queens etc etc ... basically as long as we are nothing but bad news, we are wasting out time shouting "discrimination".

I said, lets help to clean up our house. Also, if we are just wanted for economic reasons, lets move to a more gay friendly country.

Anyway, to those who think that our so called "pink" dollars are such a big deal, you can shaft those pink notes up your A***. How many of you actually help those in needs ? How many of you actaully help out both in $$$ and time to the HIV cause ??? Shameless ....
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74. 2008-04-28 14:05  
In this period of more pressing concerns like high inflation & escaped terrorist Mas Selamat, it's sad that some people can take issue with the Parliament things which are almost laughingly trifle...I find this Thio person-& the likes of her- frankly disturbing in their almost-minutiae obsession with homosexuality & esp. gay males in particular.
If anything, smarter Singaporeans should be able to see very clearly whether these 'evengelists' genuinely have their interests at heart.
75. 2008-04-28 14:24  
I applaud Kenneth Liang of MediaCorp in testing the govt promise of non-interference, the local papers in fuelling this debate, and in purging out the cowards in us to confront this issue that no one else can speak for glbt rights but ourselves!

I really don't blame MDA as it's just doing it's 'fine' job & if the law's lifted, this won't happen, duh.

We have NO ONE but ourselves to blame for what happened. I wonder why glbts is acting dumb. Now this is VERY BAD coz we do no harm but every intention for even the country's goodness. When two beings want to celebrate love, be legally responsible together , to have BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS to love together, to having enough love to want to beget & nurture another life together, to influence nuclear family notions, to be willing & contributing citizens, why aren't we being recognised socially & legally? Why is our love, a CRIME?!?!

S'poreans & anyone pro-gays gotta ask whatcha gonna do? Make way for OTHER people's sensitivity as they live their lives while you relegate to living as second-class citizens? Live a double 'false' life in the face of people you meet for the rest of it? Wear this shroud of shame just because it's handed down to you? Withdraw & stifle your loving desires when you are together with your love one in public (accepted PDA)? I dunno abt you, but, isn't it torturous?!?

Listen, and listen very quietly, truly and surely to the beating of your heart. Hear that beat & it echoe loud and proud. And please, not just in the frivolous, party-sexy way. March in the beat and you'll know, the person we have to salute proudly first, is ourselves. Take whatever in your creativity powers & innovations to tell S'porean people & govt that unique individuals and crime acts are two very different things!

Change the law, save the gays. Stop watching and Be your own HEROES. It's god-damn time to act.
76. 2008-04-28 14:52  
POOR THING! anyway singapore its non open minded country.. and the singaporean also got something problem in theyre mind, they have ATTITUDE, and BEHAVE problem. so its not strange if the GOVERMENT being so attracful, especially with money. as in say SINGAPORE ITS A FINE COUNTRY with a say SINGAPORE ITS A MONEY COUNTRY! there will no wonder.
77. 2008-04-28 14:53  
what a sad and sorry state of affairs for the police state of poor sin only interested in money and economic values
How in human can you get, why don't you just annex to china then you can be really happy
78. 2008-04-28 17:09  
This website says it is about empowerment. People are rightly very angry about all this, but grumbling and moaning alone doesn't achieve anything. There are imaginative ways to respond, to work towards getting the regulations more balanced, and it'd be great to see people using their imagination: ideas from Singaporeans appropriate to Singapore, that can be supported by their friends, straight and gay, across the world. And most importantly, supported by their straight friends in Singapore.

Also, as someone pointed out, it would be good to see similar anger over unfairness in AIDS treatment; an article and imaginative responses to that would be good too. With more balanced access to the media maybe it would also be easier to highlight such unfairness.

79. 2008-04-28 17:18  
There's something SERIOUSLY wrong with the GLBT community in S'pore.. So many talents, great MICE & media industry that gays exel, yet ALL the various gay rights groups, support forums & you, you & you..all CAN'T pull through a stoogy group of govt officials & lamb-like people with a PRIDE-like heart-rendering campaign?? Where are the leaders of gay community gone? Lone fights cannot win la.

Wake up! The media & news is setting the stage for you to come to the mic and sing your song already. There must be a proper channel for all of GLBT supporters in S'pore to put a signature down at least?!
80. 2008-04-28 17:32  
I find it hard to believe that Singapore, who is supposed to be a 'developed' city-state, can lag so far behind when it comes to issues like this. They will become the spitting image of China and its policies towards gays if they're not careful... oh hang on...
81. 2008-04-28 17:33  
Frankly to get the Gay house in order, we have to skew our own leaders first for this failing. Are their heads stuck in some ego doorway or what?

Are the various gay agencies communicating even? Any plausible plots? Smart political meanderings in planning? WHAT?! Your gay people are in distress!! We are being indignified!

Leaders, lead already. Can we hear what the gay agencies rep have to say?
82. 2008-04-28 21:38  
Shonda, you ARE a leader. An inspiring one at that. You sure get my vote.
83. 2008-04-28 23:24  
Totally and utterly rediculous! They seem prudent enough in targeting the 'Pink Dollar', but seem to cringe and shriek when reality strikes. To see these programs as 'promoting' homosexuality, is not only misguided, but narrow monded to say the least.
When will Singapore come out of the dark ages and realise that we are actually in the 3rd millennium?!
84. 2008-04-29 01:29  
We all can just write and voice out here. Is there anyone or a group in Singapore who really dare to stand up and challenge this straight people? Don't be 'kee-ah-see' like those straight my friends. Shall we wait and see? :)
85. 2008-04-29 08:12  
Thannk god I choose to live and work in Taiwan. My choices included Singpore, at the time friends said I might have made a mistake since Singapore is much richer and has more advantges. Now I wonder what they would say since I live a very open gay life and am not discriminated against living here. My heart goes out to my gay brothers. Is there a fund we can send money to , to help pay the fines the station has gotten? Maybe if we help pay the fines they will continue to show gay items.
86. 2008-04-29 09:08  
oh my god
that's why i dun like to move to suingapore
what the terrible government
87. 2008-04-29 09:31  
well thought Singapore is in words anti gay
you can still be gay and have sex there
in other country you can get hanged or shot.
we need to advance the gay cause worldwide .
lots of work but we are getting there we are 15% of the world population so no small minority , all gays must have the balls to stand up and say yes i am gay so what !
88. 2008-04-29 10:24  
As predicted, Singapore is like an OLD Vinyl record player playing the same old broken down song "Thinking" it is modern and cultured but in the end its still the same old Broken down Old fashion hyprocrite that it always has been.

First the banning of Gay shows and anything showing gays and homosexuals and now the rading of Gay Saunas (17)... its a matter of time all homos & lesbians in Singapore will start wearing a Pink Triangle tattooed on their foreheads!

Reason being why I have stopped doing any business and spending my Pink Money in this extremely HOMOPHOBIC country.

Gays take note... the only way to get into them is to stop economy going in. As for the unfortunate Gays, lesbians etc living there, leave if you can if you do not like what you see!
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90. 2008-04-29 12:10  
Post #66 sharpjwe ..... I am sorry but I am too ashamed to stand up and say I am gay.

As long as 50% of our cause are associated with sleaze , I will not fight but just leave quietly or lead a double life.
91. 2008-04-29 17:07  
A lot of crabs in the bucket ready to drag people down.

Any more ideas how to respond?
92. 2008-04-29 17:18  
got links to the vid of the show?
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99. 2008-04-29 18:47  
To those who claimed that they have huge pink dollars, no point being a member of NATO.... so what and who cares???

The gay community needs donation towards our problem with HIV, but are you giving ?? HIV rates went up in Singapore during the circuit party. Though I enjoyed and didn't support the ban, I didn't support the continuity either. We are not capable of managing our own house and need big brother to manage us. It is such a disappointment.

Anyway, I am fed up with how our community turn a blind eye to our HIV problem. Latest report http://www.moh.gov.sg/mohcorp/pressreleases.aspx?id=18958#_ftnref2 revealed that there were 422 cases last year. "They" are consideratre to put it as "2/3s of the infected were heterosexual" instead of 1/3 of the infected were homosexuals or bisexuals". In fact, the only mention of the word homosexuals was "When differentiated by sexual orientation, a higher proportion of homosexuals had their HIV infection detected via voluntary screening compared to heterosexuals (29% vs 5%)."

They put so much care into the wordings and we do not see a big outcry from the heterosexual majority ?? This set me thinking ..... what are we barking about here ??? Who are leading us in this loud barking ??? Is it for a good cause ???

Hmmmm .... maybe Fridae should do a charity circuit party. I am very sure the government will allow .... lets see how much of the pink dollars pour in this time ....... lets see the real hypocrisy and selfishness inside our community.
100. 2008-04-29 20:25  
Good points, gymhotbod, maybe you could submit an article to Fridae about that, for people to come up with ideas. A charity circuit party sounds great, perhaps you could approach Action for Aids about it.

You also mention distortion in the media is part of the problem, and that's what this article is about, blind censorship of anything gay.

Caesar's right to do what he does on personal principle too; I suspect a lot of people already avoid Singapore because of it's image. The Tourist Board must get very fed up every time the MDA and its blindly homophobic regulations make a gaffe, which means they have just poured the Tourist Board's money down the drain.

People should know they cannot just kick us and expect to get away with it, so when the MDA does something like this, I believe it calls for an imaginative response from Singaporeans and their supporters, but Singaporeans have to work out what that might be, and put out some ideas. There are already some good ones in this column.

101. 2008-05-01 01:30  
"Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more then a few decades..."

May I know where did she obtained this information from? Which societies?
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103. 2008-05-02 16:03  
oh, and I don' t know a lot of rich gay people, but those few I do know are usually quick to tell you where their money DOESN'T go, and generally don't advertise their (anonymus) donations. So in general, we probably won't know where those big pink bucks ARE going. We can only be sure of where OUR pink dollars are going, and feel good about it.Mine are going to my education, so I can grow up to be a positive role model for the generation of gay boys and girls to follow....ha...
104. 2008-05-02 21:37  
There's a huge amount of wisdom in what you say teddybare86, but I disagree with the following:

"How much we care cannot always be measured or expressed in dollars and cents, nor in action and deed."

Isn't it possible that how much we care about something is directly measureable by our actions?

If we care about an injustice, and do nothing, it seems to me that we just do not care enough. Contributing to a discussion in a positive way is, however, doing something.

Absolutely anyone can, and they regularly do, make a difference, in whatever way they can, whether it's to do with charity, injustice, prejudice, whatever particular things they care about.

But as a philospher once said:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

105. 2008-05-03 08:22  
Yes folks , just keep hitting the newspapers with all the shit stuff and keep bombarding all the mp's in your parliament, everytime the crap goes down, till things change.

It took from 1969 to 1986 to get the law changed in new zealand so just keep up the public pressure.

There is no reason why you should be discriminated against, it takes massive public pressure to force change, so if needs be come out of your closets and cause a big stink till it happens.
106. 2008-05-03 18:54  
"Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more then a few decades..."

May I know where did she obtained this information from? Which societies?

from the Straight Times perhaps
107. 2008-05-03 20:15  
Frankly, I am not surprised. I have been in Singapore and watched The Ellen Degeneres Show on their free to air tv over there, and they have ridiculously edited out alot of things on her show. I remember watching a segment when Ellen interviewed Sharon Stone on youtube, and apparently they edited out parts when Sharon Stone jokingly flirts with Ellen. My friend also mentioned that parts of the teen soap The OC became very inconsistent and sketchy because they edited out the storyline where Mischa Bartons character has a brief relationship with a girl. I am Singaporean by birth and I really hope that one day, the government will stop being so overly sensitive and narrow minded about things like homosexuality.

Sorry for the rant.
108. 2008-05-03 23:12  
wow, my sexy Citibank Gold financial advisor just did the math! better to live as two single gay men in Singapore then getting married in Canada! does anyone know how much my brother and his hot pro-hockey boy friend pay in taxes every year in Canada? OMG, Singapore is a great place to live and earn and keep in your pocket more pink dollars. . . .plus weather is great, life expectancy is longer, religious freedom, great restaurantsand great hawker food, (hot guys, including my private personal wealth banker, couple that with excellent health care system, affordable housing, and interesting people to meet! . .. who cares if it deters a few sleazy guys to spend their dollars elsewhere . . .good riddance! plus, its a great place to raise kids-- so glad I bought a property there-- now I will be able to meet my savings goals, and spend some cash on that great Ralph Lauren Black Label collection, if I got married and lived in Canada, I would still be working to pay my taxes till June! . . . finally, my hot Singapore Citigold Banker is a bit flabbergasted at the lack of gay men in the high savers club there . . . hmm
109. 2008-05-03 23:19  
i might also have a little savings left over so I can hook up my own satellite dish and watch Ellen uncensored . . . then I can video tape the show and sell boot leg copies to my friends . . . actually in American no one would pay any attention to this fuss, being gay is so mainstream now . . .
110. 2008-05-05 10:05  
In reply to asialove2, every country has homophobic elements. even open-minded countries like Begium, South Africa and Canada. Taiwan is supposed to be the most gay-tolerant society in Asia, yet my gay Taiwanese coworker recently commited suicide after being outed!
111. 2008-05-05 17:14  

I am saddened by that, but not suprised. I lived in taichung for five years and that particular city is very homophobic. The men I did meet there were so worried about being outed that they refused to go out on the streets with me for fear someone would see them and question our relationship. That's not to say everyone is but the majority are. I have by no means ever been asked or accused of beign gay so i just can't understand why they would be so concerned but that's now it was. Toleranct??
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114. 2008-05-05 21:50  
Mikeviv, I'm so sorry about your co-worker's suicide. It's a great tragedy that such things happen, and, sadly, much more likely in very homophobic societies.

It makes me so angry about the MDA and their regulations: the way they are designed and phrased is to deliberately make vulnerable gay people, who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, feel even more bad about themselves, and the MDA deliberately distorts the media in order to deprive these people of any positive, happy images of normal gay people just living their lives, like the couple in the design show. They see this as "promoting" homosexuality (which is impossible), instead of promoting understanding (which is what compassionate societies do), or even just reflecting real society.

And it looks to me like they take this one-sided position to appease what I view as a few extreme, irrational, prosylitising religious groups who feel society should make gay people feel guilty and abnormal (and in some cases suicidal) so that they can "convert" them. They have what many see as a delusional belief that they can and should change gay peoples' sexual orientation, or force them to be celibate for their entire lives if that fails, which of course it does.

How much more compassionate it would be if the MDA changed its regulations and took a more balanced approach.

115. 2008-05-06 12:26  
Being gay is normal. It happens naturally, freely.

Civilised society permits people the freedom to live their lives.

Singapore is not a civilised society. It pretends to be. It hasn't the first idea about civilisation. It's a wanna-be western societ without the foundation of culture such civilisation is based upon.

Singapore is a hateful place. A Police state. A dictatorship. A bigotry.

Why live somewhere that doesnt want you?
116. 2008-05-06 12:41  
Here's the webaddress to provide feedback to MDA. They promise a response in 5 days.


Please let them know how you feel there.
117. 2008-05-06 15:22  
Think a good angle of pressure anyone can give is the contradicting accountability between the ministries/agencies and what Snr Minister/PM talks about opening up and doing away with such law before on penal code 377A.

Is MDA disrespecting the message and spirit of what PM intends to convey? How can they censor a good message from people like Ellen or from the Oscars and not do more on violence, bad taste programs & promiscuity of ALL types instead.

Why the unnecesary shrouding of homosexuality? Justify why images of homosexuality is liken to a disease like leprosy? Where's the respect for human rights? Who drafts and arrives at MDA's guidelines pertaining homosexual scenes? Home Affairs? Ministry of Community, Youth & Services? What are these ministries doing to enhance understanding, acceptance and ensuring justice, equality harmony for its people?

Heads should roll for the kind of distress all these bodies are causing productive, law abiding gay people and their families and friends which equates to general population, isn't it?
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