Censorship Hub




BBC Facing Backlash for Censoring Gay Kiss from Asia Broadcast of Doctor Who Premiere: VIDEO

Who

The BBC is facing criticism for self-censoring its Asia broadcast of the first episode of the new Doctor Who series by cutting a lesbian kiss scene, South China Morning Post reports:

Thousands of fans missed out on the kiss between lizard-woman Madame Vastra and her human wife Jenny Flint, which the BBC says was cut to comply with broadcasting regulations in Asia.

Local gay-rights groups called the edit "outrageous" and "scandalous" and said it was unfair not to treat the kiss the same as a kiss between a man and a woman.

The BBC Worldwide's London-based compliance team made the cut to conform with laws against homosexuality and broadcast content codes in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Daily Mail adds:

Campaigner Peter Tatchell said: ‘The BBC should not bow to censorship demands from other countries. 

'If these countries are bigoted and are not willing to show same-sex love, they have no right to demand that the BBC conforms to their standards of prejudice.’

Last week we reported that the scene - featuring the first same-sex kiss for Doctor Who in its 50-year history - drew the ire of some anti-gay viewers in the UK.

Watch the 'controversial' scene in question, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "BBC Facing Backlash for Censoring Gay Kiss from Asia Broadcast of Doctor Who Premiere: VIDEO" »


Delaware School Board Cancels Summer Reading List Rather Than Include LGBT Novel

The Miseducation of Cameron Post coverThe Miseducation of Cameron Post is a coming-of-age novel about a young lesbian  sent to live with her conservative aunt after her parents die in a car crash. She is subsequently sent to a "de-gaying" camp where she develops a relationship with another girl who becomes her best friend.

The Cape Henlopen School Board in Delaware removed the book from its summer reading list after complaints from parents, allegedly about profanity within the book, but the book's author emily m. danforth (who spells her name in lowercase) and others believe it was due to the subject matter of homosexuality.

When danforth and an AfterEllen campaign protested the school board's decision - a decision they reached by violating their own rules and deciding without proper investigation - the school board took the logical and completely not-crazy next step by canceling the reading list program altogether.

danforth responded with an open letter to the school board, stating in part:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post was included on a librarian-developed list that was part of a summer reading program for incoming freshman. You took the drastic action of removing the book from that list, thereby eliminating it as one of the books students participating in that program might choose to complete their assignment. Yes, my book is (apparently) still available in the school library--which is wonderful--but it is no longer a part of this important summer reading program because of a direct action taken by this school board. Period. That's the very definition of censorship, Mr. Brittingham. But surely you know this. (It does seem that this board rather likes to hide behind its rhetoric.)

The book, as she mentions above, is still available in the school libraries.

[via New Civil Rights Movement]


Why Did Singapore's Anti-Gay Censors Ban Archie's Gay Wedding And Not Northstar's

Comic

Earlier this month, state media censors in Singapore banned a 2012 Life With Archie comic book for “promoting alternative lifestyles or deviant sexual practices” through the same-sex marriage of its gay character Kevin Keller.

But surprisingly, the same censors have not banned an Astonishing X-Men issue which features the same-sex marriage of the gay superhero Northstar.

Why not? Channel News Asia quotes a spokesperson from the Singapore Media Development Board:

“The MDA takes a holistic view in assessing content and considers all factors, including the context, presentation and language. While themes may seem similar on the surface, depictions and context often vary across different works…

“The issue featured characters who objected to the wedding and this offered a balanced treatment on the issue of gay marriage.”

The Board goes onto say that the censorship even though they did not outright ban the X-Men comic, they have advised that it be "shrink-wrapped and labelled with the consumer advice 'Unsuitable for the Young.'"


Singapore Will Not Reverse Decision To Ban Children's Books With Gay Characters

Jaxe pan facebook

Singapore’s National Library Board (NLB) has responded to the outcry following its decision last week to ban two books with gay characters.

The two banned books are And Tango Makes Three, inspired by two real male penguins who hatched an egg together, and The White Swan Express, about three straight couples and one lesbian couple who travel to China to adopt baby girls.

A Facebook protest by Jaxe Pan and her daughter, which reads "Dear Minister, single families are REAL, so are adopted families, blended families, gay men and lesbian women. It’s okay that you are not like us, but please do not remove our stories, and pretend we do not exist," has been shared more than 7,000 times.

The Straits Times reports that chief executive Elaine Ng said in an interview with The Sunday Times that she was saddened that several local writers have decided to withdraw from library-related events in protest.

Ng continued:

"I understand that this is an issue that people feel strongly about but please, please also look to all the good things NLB has done over the years.  NLB has done a lot over many years to build trust in the community and we want to continue working hard to build that trust and see what we can do to reclaim the trust of those who feel disappointed in us."

However, the NLB will not reverse its decision on the ban.  Nor will the books be resold or donated because of concerns that they might be unsuitable for children.


Singapore Bans Two Children's Books With Gay Characters

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Singapore libraries have withdrawn two children's books with gay characters, reports NPR.

In a Facebook statement, The National Library Board suggests that the subject matter of the banned books is incompatible with a “pro-family” stance:

"Young children are among our libraries’ most frequent visitors. Many of them browse books in our children’s sections on their own. As such, NLB takes a pro-family and cautious approach in identifying titles for our young visitors. In selecting children’s books, we sieve through the contents and exercise our best judgement. Parents can be assured that NLB is sensitive to their concerns and views, and their feedback."

The two banned books are And Tango Makes Three, inspired by two real male penguins who hatched an egg together, and The White Swan Express, about three straight couples and one lesbian couple who travel to China to adopt baby girls.

Homosexuality in Singapore is criminalized with two years in prison

Singapore library books banned1


Christian College Confiscates School Newspaper with Gay Student's Article: 'Why I Must Live in Fear'

Ventriloquist

Cedarville University in Ohio has undergone substantial administrative changes within the past year, including a new President for Student Life and Christian Ministries as well as no longer allowing male students to be taught Bible classes by female professors.

Cedarville UniversityThe newest development is the abolishment of the latest edition of the student newspaper The Ventriloquist after it ran some pro-LGBT articles, one from a student writing about being dismissed from a variety of student leadership positions and another from an anonymous student asking why he must live in fear at the school.

The newspapers were confiscated before they could be passed out, and the university’s Executive Director of Public Relations, Mark Weinstein offered up the excuse, "Our school has policies for soliciting and [students] need permission to distribute. It was checked and [The Ventriloquist] did not have permission.” The Ventriloquist has been distributed since 2010 without any problems and no changes regarding student publications have been made to the student handbook since that time.

You can read a digital copy of The Ventriloquist with the LGBT articles below

 

UPDATE: Cedarville University's LGBT Alliance Cedarville OUT released a statement condemning the crackdown:

CEDARVILLE, OH, April 29, 2014 – The new administration at Cedarville University, a Baptist-affiliated school in southwestern Ohio, has placed new restrictions on free speech activities on campus by forcibly confiscating copies of the independently-produced student paper, The Ventriloquist. Much of the crackdown by university administrators revolves around the paper’s discussions of LGBT issues and the reality of LGBT students’ lives on Cedarville’s campus. The acts of aggression continue to mount, leaving many students fearing for their safety.

Over the past year, several students have felt forced into leaving Cedarville because of their sexual orientation. Others have felt silenced as the university censures those who offer even a modicum of support to LGBT students. Most recently, copies of The Ventriloquist were torn from the hands of students attempting to distribute it around campus by none other than the University President.

Avery Redic told his powerful story of his time at Cedarville in an issue of The Ventriloquist before he felt forced to transfer. Another anonymous student wrote, in reference to Redic: “I’m in danger. When the university administration chooses to strip a gay student of all his leadership and ministry positions (and he ends up at Wright State) because he’s not sure what he believes on the issue, that’s a problem. It means that for the rest of my time at Cedarville, my status is on the line. I have to live in fear of my own ‘Christian’ community and what they might do to me.”

“The reality of LGBT students at Cedarville cannot be ignored,” says Grant Miller, Cedarville OUT member and former student body president. “It is a travesty that staff at Cedarville are allowing these unchecked aggressions to take place, creating a climate of fear.”

If, as Mark D. Weinstein, Cedarville’s Executive Director of Public Relations, asserts, Cedarville University, “supports free thinking and discussions on topics," Cedarville OUT demands that the papers be returned and that LGBT students be offered a safe space to talk about their lives. Cedarville OUT maintains a presence online where current students, alumni and supporters can read stories and share experiences as LGBT individuals and allies authentically living life against the backdrop of religious confusion, misunderstanding, and aggression—but also with the hope and the exhilarating freedom that comes with authenticity.


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