By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com March 22 2010 11:35 AM ET
New censorship guidelines for the Malaysian film industry relax a strict ban on showing homosexuality — as long as the gay characters change their ways by the end of the story.
Malaysian Film Producers' Association president Ahmad Puad Onah explained the new rules to Agence France-Presse.
"We are now allowed to show these scenes," he said. "As long as we portray good triumphing over evil and there is a lesson learnt in the film, such as from a gay [character] who turns into a [straight] man. Previously we are not allowed to show these at all."
In the conservative majority-Muslim country of Malaysia, books and films are routinely banned or edited in order to delete portions believed to threaten moral and religious values.
Under the new rules, according to AFP, kissing, undressing, and obscenities will still be banned. The rules apply to other subjects deemed detrimental to morality, not just homosexuality.