Singapore bans lesbian-themed hit, “We’re All Different, Yet The Same”

Singapore has banned the song We’re All Different, Yet The Same by Jolin Tsai for local broadcasting, purportedly due to its promotion of gay marriage.

According to Mingpao News, the Media Development Authority (MDA) has sent ban notices to television and radio stations in the country so as not to air the song or the music video.

Under Singapore’s broadcasting code, content must not “in any way promote, justify or glamorise… lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest”.Singapore’s broadcasting code, content must not “in any way promote, justify or glamorise… lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest”.

The 2014 music video features a wedding scene and a kiss between Jolin and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin.

The lyricist for the song, Albert Leung said earlier this year that the director told him two real life stories before he wrote the lyrics, which the latter hoped to be in the music video.
The first story is about a 70-year-old lady who is sobbing helplessly at the hospital registration counter. Her desperation due to her other half who had just gone into a deep coma and urgently needs a next of kin to sign a letter of authorisation. But as both are female, the relationship between the two has no legal effect and therefore she is unable to sign the letter.

She begged the nurse to ask if she could sign as her other half has not been in contact with the family for more than 20 years. Eventually, she managed to contact family members of her other half at 3 am but they said that they will only go to sign the documents after they have fully woken up. Despite being together for 40 years, both do not have legal rights to sign a document of authorisation.

Albert Leung pointed out that, “Love is not an abstract symbol of faith, Love is a right, without the need for forgiveness or understanding.” Asking those who does not object homosexuality but objects to pluralistic family, he asked if they ever thought about the point of legal protection.  He noted that despite possessing love that extends longer than the legally wed, one is rendered powerless to save the other half’s life in the name of next-of-kin.

In response to the ban, Tsai’s manager said: ‘Jolin expressed her support for gay marriage through the music of We’re All Different, Yet The Same. She will feel it’s a pity, but respects different opinions.’

Last year, organisers of Spring Wave Singapore concert had to disallow Taiwanese singer, Zhang Hui Mei (A-mei) from singing her gay anthem, Rainbow after MDA “advised the organiser that an outdoor concert would typically allow only for content that is ‘General’ in rating.”

TOC has written to MDA for their response and will update with their statement when they reply.