SINGAPORE — LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) media content will continue to warrant higher age ratings, said the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) on Monday (22 August), following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's announcement on the repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code during Sunday's National Day Rally.
The ministry said in a media statement that its content regulatory approach has to be sensitive to societal norms and values, and it will continue to take reference from prevailing norms.
"(MCI) reaffirms the government’s position that the repeal of S377A does not mean that we are changing the tone of society. This position also applies to our policies on media content," it said in the statement.
PM Lee had announced on Sunday that the government will repeal S377A, the deeply divisive law that criminalises sex between men. At the same time, the government plans to amend its Constitution to enshrine the definition of marriage and prevent the issue from being challenged in the courts.
Protecting younger audiences from age-inappropriate content
MCI said in its statement that the ministry as well as the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) regulate media content to protect younger audiences from age-inappropriate content. At the same time, mature audiences are able to make informed choices over a diverse range of content.
"To understand the community’s views, IMDA regularly consults its advisory committees, made up of members of the public from all walks of life, on specific titles as well as content guidelines and regulations," the ministry said.
There have been instances of media content being age-restricted in Singapore due to "overt homosexual depictions". In June this year, the Pixar movie "Lightyear" was given an NC16 (no children under 16) rating over a same-sex kissing scene. The film was banned in several other countries over the scene.
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