Mainstream media must not campaign for either side of LGBT debate to avoid culture wars seen elsewhere: Josephine Teo

Media, Teo, LGBT, Repeal, Josephine

If the mainstream campaigns or lobbies for either side of the LGBT debate – or gives prominence to one view to the exclusion of others – it would not be possible for us to avoid the culture wars we see elsewhere, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said in a Facebook post (27 August).

“It is of utmost importance that our mainstream continues to be responsible and balanced in handling LGBT topics,” Ms Teo said.

Ms Teo’s comments came after her colleagues in were alerted to a Facebook post by a “Miak Siew” who said that the announcement of the repeal has helped made it easier for them to speak about LGBT topics ‘live on air’. “Miak Siew” was referring to his forthcoming participation on a radio programme on 89.3 MoneyFM.

Ms Teo reiterated MCI’s position that the repeal of will not change content regulation policies for LGBT content. 

The view expressed by “Miak Siew” is contrary to MCI’s position, she said. 

“We will maintain the status quo in the landscape, and strongly discourage campaigning for pro- or anti-LGBT viewpoints,” Ms Teo said. 

Ms Teo said the view expressed by “Miak Siew” ‘gives the wrong impression that our mainstream media – SPH Media Trust and MediaCorp – has shifted’.
 
has engaged them and can confirm they understand and the Government’s position,” she said. 
 
“If the mainstream media campaigns or lobbies for either side in this debate – or gives prominence to one view to the exclusion of others – it would not be possible for us to avoid the culture wars we see elsewhere. It is of utmost importance that our mainstream media continues to be responsible and balanced in handling LGBT topics,” Ms Teo stressed. “I am confident they will do so and will take appropriate action to maintain this balance as and when it is challenged,” she added.
 
Following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s announcement of the repeal in his NDR speech, had issued a media statement to reaffirm that content regulation policies will remain unchanged including advertising standards and film classification. 
In announcing that the Government would repeal Section of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men, PM Lee also said the government would amend the Constitution to protect the current definition of from being challenged in the courts.
 
He also made clear in his rally speech that the government did not want the repeal to trigger a drastic shift in our societal norms across the board. This includes what is shown on free to air television and in cinemas.

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