Last Friday the Chinese government officially banned all depictions of homosexuals on television, labeling programs that do so as “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content.” In addition to homosexuality, television programs will also not be permitted to depict extramarital affairs, “one-night stands” and underage relationships, all of which the government says “exaggerated the dark side of society.”
The law also applies to programs that have already been filmed and are currently being aired. Last week, the government ended the popular Chinese drama Addicted, which follows two men in gay relationships, from being streamed on Chinese websites, causing discontent among the show’s millions of viewers.
The Chinese government said that Addicted, among other television shows, contains content that is not permissible under the new guidelines. “No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviors, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence and so on.”
While the new regulations seemingly focus on matters dealing with relationships and sex, the government has also extended the ban to depictions of smoking, drinking, certain types of clothing and reincarnation. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said it will closely and constantly monitor television channels to ensure strict adherence to the new laws.
Last week, Mexico city legislators passed a proposal to ban Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump from entering Mexico in response to Trump’s xenophobic remarks towards Hispanics and Latinos in general, and Mexicans specifically.
The new proposal is symbolic since the local legislative body cannot pass and enforce federal laws, but nonetheless, the law was passed unanimously. However, some see the recent legislation as a way to encourage the federal government to respond more aggressively to Trump’s remarks.
“What we’re saying is that if he wants to build a wall so that Mexicans can’t enter his country, then he is not welcome in our country,” said José Manuel Delgadillo, deputy of the National Action Party (PAN). “What we need now is for President Peña Nieto to make a strong statement condemning Mr. Trump’s anti-Mexican comments.”
In his announcement in June 2015 to enter the 2016 presidential race, Trump said to an audience of supporters, “When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. they are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime, and they’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Currently, the Mexican government has not addressed Trump’s remarks. However, former Mexican President Vicente Fox in an interview said that under no circumstances would Mexico pay for a wall on the US-Mexican border.
Bangladesh’s Supreme Court began hearing arguments on Thursday to challenge Islam’s status as the country’s official state religion following an increase in extremist attacks against people of other religious faiths.
Christians, Hindus and Shiites have recently faced an increasing amount of attacks that have largely been carried out by Islamic extremists. Notable attacks have included a Hindu priest being hacked to death at a temple and atheist bloggers being murdered in the street.
In a country where roughly 90 percent of the population is Muslim, this is expected to be a long and difficult legal battle for those who wish to see the removal of Islam as the official state religion.
Islam has been Bangladesh’s official religion since 1988, but those who are supporting the proposal to drop the state religion, including many minority religious leaders, are arguing that the decision to designate Islam as the official religion was illegal.
Bangladesh received its independence in 1972 following the Bangladesh Liberation War, and was thought to be a secular democracy. The country adopted Islam as its official religion through a constitutional amendment, which many see as a hindrance to secularism.