Earlier this month, Singapore censors banned Life With Archie #16, which featured the wedding of gay veteran Kevin Keller and his physiotherapist Clay. But Astonishing X-Men #51, which depicted Northstar’s wedding to longtime boyfriend Kyle, made it through.
TODAY Online reports that a spokesperson for the Media Development Authority of Singapore said that Astonishing #5 “featured characters who objected to the wedding and this offered a balanced treatment on the issue of gay marriage.” The MDA’s guidelines “allow for the balanced depictions of same-sex relationships if they do not encourage or promote alternative lifestyles.” Gay marriage is illegal in Singapore.
In contrast, the lack of naysayers in Life With Archie #16 meant that the comic violated the MDA’s guidelines. “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.”
However, although Astonishing #51 can be sold in Singapore, the MDA advises that it should be shrink wrapped and labelled “unsuitable for the young.” Compliance with MDA directives is voluntary, but with Life With Archie issues being pulled off the shelves across he country, it also seems to be common.