Wed, Oct 25, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Singapore's cable operator fined over lesbian sex, S&M


Singapore's sole cable television operator, StarHub Cable Vision, was fined S$10,000 (US$6,350) for showing footage of lesbian sex and bondage in a reality program, the industry regulator said.

The Development Authority said in a statement uploaded on its Web site on Monday that the scenes "were deemed to be sexually suggestive and offensive to good taste and decency" and that the reality series, entitled Cheaters, promoted lesbianism as a lifestyle.

It said the scenes, aired in May and repeated in August, contained footage of a woman engaging in sexual acts with another woman.

While the scenes were pixelated, "it was still obvious to the viewers that that the women were naked and engaging in unnatural sex acts," the regulator said.

The program, which exposes people caught cheating on their partners, also showed a woman tied to a bed in a "bondage session" with two other women, it said.

The regulator said that the program was carried on a channel available for viewing by a general audience.

"This episode of Cheaters was therefore found to be in breach of the Subscription TV Program Code as it failed to comply with guidelines which disallow the promotion, justification and glamorization of lesbian lifestyles and their explicit depictions," the regulator said.

A StarHub spokeswoman told the Straits Times it was disappointed with the regulator's decision, but said it would ensure such incidents were not repeated.

The spokeswoman said Cheaters had been shown in China, India and Indonesia "without any difficulty," adding that the episode in question was aired in Singapore at midnight.

Homosexual acts are outlawed in Singapore under laws dating back to British colonial days. Singapore's penal code states that anyone who "voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals," is liable to a possible life prison term and a fine.

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