Singapore penalises Vogue for promoting ‘non-traditional families’

published :
16 Oct 2022 at 16:33

This picture taken on June 18, 2022, shows supporters attending the annual “Pink Dot” event in a public show of support for the LGBT community at Hong Lim Park in Singapore. (AFP)

Singapore has cut the permit of a local version of Vogue magazine for promoting “non-traditional families” as the city-state reaffirms cultural limits.

Vogue Singapore breached content guidelines on four occasions within the past two years for featuring such content as well as nudity, the Ministry of Communications and Information said in a statement on Friday. The magazine was given a “stern warning” and its one-year publishing licence was revoked, with a shorter six-month permit issued instead.

Vogue Singapore and the local publisher of the US fashion magazine, Media Publishares Pte Ltd didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The ministry didn’t provide details on the violations, but the action comes less than two months after the city-state announced plans to repeal a colonial-era law criminalising sex between men, but also amend the constitution to prevent same-sex marriages.

The last time a permit was shortened was when action was taken against Art Republik, a local arts magazine, in 2014 for two severe breaches of the guidelines for religiously insensitive and denigrative content, a spokesperson for the ministry said. 

The communications ministry said in August that it will continue to restrict LGBT media content to just older audiences, while the education ministry affirmed its plans to uphold the teaching of heterosexual marriage in schools.

The Southeast Asian nation has traditionally frowned on promiscuous content, even while relaxing policies in some areas — like legalising bar-top dancing in 2003 — to enhance its appeal as a business and travel hub. It cut the licences of men’s magazine FHM in 1998 and women’s magazine Cleo in 2008 for featuring sex and nudity.

Singapore has reaffirmed its hardline approach even as it’s challenged by the rise of the internet and changing attitudes among the young. This week, it fined a creator on the adult site OnlyFans for sharing obscene photos and videos, in the first such conviction for a user of the platform. 

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