Unwitting news channel airs defiant gay kiss in Singapore – and censors couldn’t do a thing about it
LGBT+ folk are celebrating after an Asian news station unwittingly aired a same-sex kiss for the first time.
Channel News Asia, a 24-hour multinational news television channel headquartered in Singapore, was airing a live report about the Winter Olympics opening ceremony when two men shared a defiant kiss in the background.
The impactful moment has since gone viral in Singapore, due to the fact broadcasting codes strongly restrict any content “which depict or propagate sexual perversions such as homosexuality, lesbianism”.
Indeed, Singapore still has Section 377A in the country’s penal code which gives a sentence of up to two years in jail for “gross indecency”.
The law, which is a holdover from British colonialism, means it is one of 69 countries with laws that criminalize LGBT+ relationships.
Vice News reports that journalist Low Minmin was reporting from an Olympics watch party in a local pub.
In the background, two men were seen noticing the camera crew and deliberately moving into the shot before they proceeded to share an impassioned kiss.
Seconds later, they both turned to the camera and gave knowing smiles which confirmed that the smooch had been a deliberate act of protest against the censorship of the LGBT+ community.
The viral clip read, “Channel news Asia featuring a kissing gay couple for the first time”, while the caption stated: “they can’t censor the ending pose 😍🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️🌈”
Due to Singapore’s censorship laws, the kiss was edited out of the clip posted to the Channel News Asia website.
However, a TikTok video of the moment has been viewed over 825,000 times and has also been shared widely on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China.
Ross Murray, Senior Director of the GLAAD Media Institute, said in a statement: “This kiss, while a small action, is a breakthrough for the Singaporean LGBTQ community, who are still criminalized and censored in Singapore.
“Let this Olympian kiss be a call to strike down Section 377A of Singapore’s penal code, and end the criminalization of LGBTQ people globally.”