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Malaysia to Ban All LGBT Characters from Television Because They're 'Against Norm of a Religious Society'

Malaysia has issued a directive to state-owned TV stations ordering them to ban and remove LGBT characters, and says it will expand the order to privately owned stations, The Star reports:

DcruzThe Information Department has banned shows featuring gay characters, Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz confirmed. He said the ban was effective immediately but would only start with state-owned TV and radio stations.

"If it means cancelling some of the shows, so be it," he told The Star Friday, adding that the decision was to curb the "influence" of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

He also said the decision will be expanded to cover privately-owned stations as well as satellite TV providers.

As for foreign productions, he said the Censorship Board will remove episodes from running TV shows and bar movies with gay characters from being screened locally.

The directive appeared on the Information Department Facebook page yesterday:

"Effective immediately, radio and TV stations are asked to stop screening shows which feature gay, effeminate men as well as characters that go against the norm of a religious society because this encourages and promotes LGBT now."

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  1. I read an article last night in a Malaysia newspaper (online) that coldly talked about the "LGBT problem". History repeats...

    In Nazi Germany, it was the "Jewish problem".

    I can only hope Malaysia doesn't take it so far, but once a mindset like that is in place, ANYTHING is possible.

    And, once again, the motivational factor: RELIGION.

    Mankind will NEVER be free as long as the cancer of religion destroys its mind.

    Posted by: Johnson | Apr 6, 2012 11:32:11 AM


  2. "The cancer of religion" indeed.
    Malaysia - there's yet another place I will never visit or support.

    Posted by: John Freeman | Apr 6, 2012 11:43:06 AM


  3. So much for "Glee" and "Smash" in Malaysia.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 6, 2012 11:46:18 AM


  4. I would imagine that Atlantis Cruises will now plan a Gay Cruise to Malaysia so another Gay Couple can be arrested, harassed and humiliated publicly and the company will assume no responsibility and leave them to fend for themselves.

    Posted by: John | Apr 6, 2012 11:54:04 AM


  5. Such a shame. I guess all of the restaurants in Malaysia will have to stop serving prawns, now, too.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Apr 6, 2012 12:01:47 PM


  6. As a skilled tradesman and electronic hobbyist, I have enjoyed purchasing and using the many well made communications and data products manufactured in Malaysia. There are alternatives. Sorry Motorola, putting off that second CP200 for now...

    Posted by: ROBERT BAKER | Apr 6, 2012 12:14:05 PM


  7. Just another country to remove from my bucket-list. I know there are different points of view on this but I just can't wrap my mind around visiting and contributing to the economy of countries whose governments do NOT want me to exist.

    Posted by: excy | Apr 6, 2012 12:18:10 PM


  8. "And, once again, the motivational factor: RELIGION."

    Religion is actually just an excuse to cover up the real reasons for the aversion to homosexuality, as evidenced by the fact that the Soviet Union and other officially atheist societies were even more homophobic than those where religious conviction was strong.

    The taboo against homosexuality is ancient and pre-dates Christianity, Islam, and even Judaism, so religion did not create it--indeed, these religions just incorporated existing taboos into their teachings when the religions came into being.

    So religion is not the cause of homophobia and railing against it is not the solution--people everywhere will always have spiritual needs and a need to make sense of life and a strong desire to believe in an afterlife, so religion will always be with us.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 6, 2012 12:20:57 PM


  9. Malaysia struck me as a strange place. I had never been anywhere where people looked around to make sure no one was listening when they talked about how things were there. There's enormous tension in society, religious tension, ethnic tension, economic tension. They hold it together by limiting what you can and can't say about other groups, quotas based on religion and ethnicity, etc. It has worked, so far.

    This step towards giving more weight to the (largely, but not exclusively Muslim) anti-gay parts of society based on (largely, but not exclusively Muslim) fundamentalist religious beliefs by the government is not a good sign.

    In many countries, the move against us is ignored by the rest of society, including by those who might, if they gave it a thought, see themselves as next in line for persecution. I hope it's different in Malaysia, if nothing else, because those who might be next in line live with that reality staring them in the face every day.

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 6, 2012 12:23:57 PM


  10. Not sure why these neanderthals think "promoting LGBT" is even possible. No TV show is going to make someone gay or straight.

    PS: I have the feeling they, like many of those doing this, just want to enjoy the pleasure of outcasting and abusing some subpopulation of their people. It's the cheapest ego boost around for the spinless and deficient.

    Posted by: JakeP | Apr 6, 2012 12:26:37 PM


  11. Allen Gregory, The Cleveland Show, Archer, Sasameki Koto, American Dad!, Sukisho,, Family Guy, Futurama, Mission Hill, South park, Dragon Ball Z, The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, GCB, Smash, Revenge, American Horror Story, Teen Wolf, Game of Thrones, Bedlam, Being Human,Fairly Legal,Shameless,Skins,Sirens,Spartacus,The Big C,Downton Abbey,Lost Girl,Pretty Little Liars,Gigantic,Law & Order: LA,Hellcats,Boardwalk Empire,Thorne,Undercovers,Outlaw,Rubicon,The Whole Truth,The Vampire Diaries,Warehouse 13,The Good Wife,Make It or Break It,White Collar,Southland,Being Erica,United States of Tara,Stargate Universe,Trauma,Caprica,FlashForward,The Prisoner,Kings,The Secret Life of the American Teenager,Sons of Anarchy,True Blood,In Treatment,Raising the Bar,Legend of the Seeker,Skins,Damages,Mad Men,Gossip Girl,Greek,The Tudors,Pushing Daisies,Reaper,The Liar,The Best Years,Heroes,Dirty Sexy Money,Dirt,Jekyll,Eureka,Torchwood,Doctor Who,Brothers & Sisters,Big Love,Ugly Betty,Sinchronicity,Weeds,Bones,Grey's Anatomy,South of Nowhere,Sleeper Cell,Sugar Rush,House,Rescue Me,Entourage,Desperate Housewives,Battlestar Galactica,Lost,Veronica Mars,One Tree Hill,Nip/Tuck,The O.C.,The Shield,Everwood,Stingers,The Wire,24,Six Feet Under,The Education of Max Bickford,Leap Years,100 Centre Street,Dice,Queer as Folk,Law & Order: SVU,The Sopranos,Once and Again,Bad Girls,Wasteland,All Saints,Dawson's Creek,Felicity,More Tales of the City,Buffy the Vampire Slayer,Oz,Live Shot,ER,My So-Called Life,NYPD Blue,Law & Order,Supernatural,The Wanda Sykes Show
    ,What Not to Wear,Ellen,The View,House of Lies,Whitney,Suburgatory,Death Valley,Sirens,Happily Divoersed,Happy Endings,Running Wilde,Nurse Jackie,Glee,Modern Family,Sophie,Kick,The Sarah Silverman Program,30 Rock,The Business,Cover Girl,The Class,Crumbs,All About George,The Office,My Name is Earl,South of Nowhere,Out of Practice,Twins,The War At Home,The Comeback,Entourage,Arrested Development,Will & Grace,Weeds,Roseanne,Pretty Little Liads,Melrose Place,90210,Gossip Girl,Watch Over Me,America,Paradise Falls,Passions,Hollyoaks and

    ... many more ...

    Malaysians are certainly not going to be exposed to that much American/British television.

    Posted by: RJ | Apr 6, 2012 12:30:39 PM


  12. Russian, Malaysian and African LGBT should all start apply for political assylum here in the US....American evangelicals are behind this so lets turn the tables on them and bring more LBGT to the U S

    Posted by: MAP | Apr 6, 2012 12:31:02 PM


  13. Rick Santorum must be behind this.

    Posted by: Alan | Apr 6, 2012 12:39:25 PM


  14. Muslim country. There's no freedom of religion. Also check out the apartheid there.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Apr 6, 2012 12:50:08 PM


  15. @RJ --- thanks for listing the programs. I wonder how they'll handle eliminating American TV etc, since it seems most other nations eagerly watch dubbed versions of American TV. I remember not so long ago, that one of these Asian nations banned episodes of "Laverne and Shirley", but then relented by saying that they were just mentally deranged women and not to be used as an example.

    Posted by: Continuum | Apr 6, 2012 2:19:05 PM


  16. this from the country that brought us the term "ladyboy". Um, ok.

    Posted by: wtf | Apr 6, 2012 2:38:03 PM


  17. Most Sony consumer electronics are made in Malaysia now (since Japanese labor is so expensive). Start reading those boxes before you buy, and don't buy Malaysian-made goods.

    Unfortunately, many parts made for assembly in other countries are also made in Malaysia, but by boycotting finished goods assembled in Malaysia we can make the parts industry start thinking about the potential blowback from doing business in oppressive nations.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Apr 6, 2012 2:57:11 PM


  18. @Rick, you are wrong that taboos against homosexuality pre-existed Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
    The taboos against homosexuality in those religions were based upon attempts to stamp out the sex-based fertility religions that were all over the region, and which were carried out by the people who wrote the Bible. By the time of Jesus that battle had been pretty much successful. The hatred of homosexuality, which even Paul associated with idolatry was inherited first by Christianity and later by Islam, whose Koran is just a reworking of the Jewish scriptures. Homosexual priests, some of whom cross-dressed, called Qedishim and Kelabim were available in temples for sex worship. It was a very Semitic practice that predated and was contemporaneous with the worship of Jahweh until after many attempts it was finally stamped out. Qetesh, or Qadesh was a Semitic Goddess whose rites were sexual. She was served by the Qadeshim, or male qadesh and female qadesha, and in the original language of the Old Testament these are the words that get translated as sodomites and temple harlots. She was associated with other goddesses who also had sexual rites. The Bible talks of how King Josiah had to cleanse the temple of Jahweh of their booths.
    Even the dove, a bird which is now associated with purity, began as a sacred animal of the goddesses of sexuality and was offered as a sacrifice in the temples.

    You are always banging on about effeminacy being the reason gay men aren't accepted and you aren't totally wrong. Ancient peoples were more accepting of gender and sexual ambiguity and even saw it as holy. All sexuality was viewed as promoting the fertility of the Earth. It was only with the rise of the patriarchal religion of the Jews, whose fear of ambiguity even led to taboos against mixing cloths and sowing different plants together, or interbreeding of different species. Their whole religion can be understood as being rooted in a horror of the strict boundaries between things being blurred which they believed led to chaos.

    You, with your spite that is directed against all those who don't fit your ideal of masculinity are an inheritor of that tradition.

    Posted by: Urmensch | Apr 6, 2012 6:15:33 PM


  19. @Urmensch Interesting. I am always open to new information and ideas--one thing that distinguishes me from ideologues--but I have to point out that, like so many gay men, you confuse homosexuality and effeminacy and try to equate the two.

    ALL cultures in world history have had cultural standards of masculinity, including those where homosexuality was (is) not only tolerated and accepted, but even expected--the Asmat of New Guinea are the best example of that in the anthropological literature. Historically, they were among the most bellicose tribes on the island, deeply feared by other tribes--and the fighting was, of course, done entirely by men, who were socialized into masculine society by the same kind of initiation rites that young males in other societies are. At the same time, they were/are almost 100% bisexuals and typically had two abodes, one that was shared with wife and family and the other with their male "partner."

    Obviously this is not the place for a long drawn-out discussion, but your blind spot is in thinking that homosexuality is associated with effeminacy in such societies, when, in fact, just the opposite is the case....and it is YOU, I think, who are projecting that modern Western notion onto situations where it does not apply.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 7, 2012 10:29:39 AM


  20. @Rick, from my understanding it is you that is wrong in your denial that from the viewpoint of those who have a very binary worldview - one that arises from oppositional, impermeable categories - that male homosexuality and effeminacy are associated.

    It is precisely cultures that are structured in this rigid way that you get the greatest abuse of any non-conformity, while at the same time the greatest oppression of women and also of minorities and the young.

    The Islamic religion has also spread with it the profoundly authoritarian and mysogynistic views of the Arabs. The men f**k young boys and any other man who will allow it. It doesn't matter how masculine the receptive partner appears; once he has been f**ked he will be perceived as more womanly. According to the simplistic categories they break the world into - man/dominant/active versus woman/submissive/passive - by accepting what they see as a submissive role you have automatically demoted and dishonoured yourself.
    If you examine the data on the characteristics of men in our society who abuse children, including their own, one of the things that stand out is they tend to be authoritarian, conservative, have rigid ideas of the roles of men and women, particularly that men are the dominant sex, and ought to be the patriarch. It is not accidental that they become abusive; That is a consequence of their attitudes.

    It is a fact that we evolved from animals shaped by natural selection that structured their relations around binaries such as dominance/submission, male/female, whatever. Reproductive success is a zero-sum game and that shaped the cultures humans created. The problem arises when you fall for the fallacious modes of thinking that arise from the cognitive biases we evolved to have.
    David Hume pointed out how easily we can move from a descriptive account to a prescriptive or normative one. We get an ought from an is. We see a fact of the world and think that is how things should be. That is the naturalistic fallacy, or you have its converse the moralistic fallacy which is the belief that what is moral is found in nature.

    You move from a fact of the world, that there is a will to dominate, to claiming that we should value and validate that as always and everywhere the way we should be. Evolution is not destiny. We don't have to look and say: "This is how we have been so therefore it is how we should be!" Ironically, that is the ultimate passivity, a kind of genetic fatalism.
    You idealise masculinity and construct a fantasy narrative of what "real" masculinity is, but ignore the reality. The men who most fit the stereotype are riddled with contradictions. They are the more rigid and emotionally brittle type of personalities. Living as if you need to dominate in every situation not only guarantees you will never achieve the human potential of a mutual and affectionate relationship with a partner you see as an equal, but it is a recipe for a life shortened by stress and filled with anxiety from constantly jockeying for position.

    What you are doing is trying to argue for certain values. You insist that we gay men will only win the trust and acceptance of other men when we eschew any hint of femininity in ourselves and other men, and join our 'heterosexual' confreres in the spiteful scapegoating of the hated effeminates non-conformists. You don't seem to get that I and others here reject your ideas as specious and naive. We don't share your values or your worldview and we don't want to kowtow to the oppressive worldview which you are such a fan of.
    I don't want or need the validation such people and I'm not going to live my life as if I do to assuage their fragile egos.

    I don't want to accomodate myself to those values; I want to, if not rid the world of them, then at least diminish the influence of them.
    I don't accomodate or respect the views of mysogynists or xenophobes, and the other various stripes of bigot.


    It is funny that the example you give, the Asmat, are cannibalistic headhunters who live in a magical world surrounded by spirits. They are many varied kind of same-sex expression all over Melanesia but if you think they are without their troubles, or live in some bisexual macho idyll you are mistaken. Without knowing the source of your information about the Asmat I can't judge how well grounded it is.

    I am not projecting my Western opinions onto others, I am measuring others against my values and I find them wanting, and I feel confident that I can argue where and why.
    You have made claims everywhere but you have not made arguments or offered data to support your claims.

    For example, your idea that all we need to do is reject all that can be judged as effeminate and become more like those who oppress and attack us. Where is your example of a society that this has been successful. It should be obvious that headhunting cannibals who believe in magic and spirits don't qualify.
    Otherwise, accept that yours are mere unsupported claims that we are free to reject merely on the basis that we don't want to live in that world and we choose to try and build our own, without the by-your-leave of others.

    Posted by: Urmensch | Apr 7, 2012 2:55:10 PM


  21. This news is just shocking. Who could have imagined that a nation that follows the teachings of Mohammed would be intolerant of homosexual people. The next thing you know people will be telling us that the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, the African American Protestant Church, the Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestant Churches and Orthodox Jews are intolerant of homosexuals. The one thing that helps all of us escape the tyranny of religion is that all these churches are intollerant of one another. Lord save us from ecumenism or any kind of interfaith dialogue.

    Posted by: jack | Apr 7, 2012 3:15:58 PM


  22. and yet the malaysian government continues to do absolutely nothing to save the lives of the children who are continuing to be sold into sex-slavery. they could stop it. they choose not to. why? they know how much money they make from businessmen flying in to their country to rape their children.

    sick. sick. sick. sick. sick.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 7, 2012 3:25:32 PM


  23. Hey Urmensch: Can you spell brevity? Do you really think most people or even any people take the time to read all your verbage?

    Posted by: jack | Apr 7, 2012 4:55:35 PM


  24. @Jack: Well I can spell verbiage.
    My comments were to a particular individual so can be skipped by others.

    Posted by: Urmensch | Apr 7, 2012 5:19:40 PM


  25. Thank goodness.

    Posted by: jack | Apr 7, 2012 6:29:09 PM


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