Singapore Bans Lesbian-Themed Pop Song

Jolin Tsai We are Different Yet the Same

In Singapore, a song by Taiwanese artist Jolin Tsai has been banned by the country’s Media Development Authority, according to Hong Kong’s Mingpao news.

Tsai’s song ‘We’re All Different, Yet the Same’ tells the story of a lesbian couple who have lived together for 30 years. When one of the women is hospitalized and requires surgery, her partner is unable to give consent because she is not legally recognised as a family member.

Singapore’s broadcasting code states that content must not “in any way promote, justify or glamorise… lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest”. Media outlets that fail to abide by these rules are fined.

Tsai’s manager has released a statement proclaiming that the singer is “disappointed” with the Media Development Authority’s decision as the song is her way of expressing support for marriage equality, but that she would “respect differences in opinion”.

In 2014, the sale of a ‘Life of Archie’ comic was banned in the city-state for its depiction of a same sex wedding. In that same year, Taiwanese singer A-Mei was prohibited from singing her song ‘Rainbow’ at her Singapore concert due to its “pro-LGBT message”.

‘We’re All Different, Yet the Same’ is accompanied by an emotional video that opens with a nurse asking one of the women what her relationship is to her partner. It goes on to show the events that lead to this point, including the woman accompanying her partner to the hospital and an imagined wedding day with the couple as young brides. The clip ends with the woman answering the nurse’s question. “She is my wife” she says.

The younger version of the couple are played by Tsai herself and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin.

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