Op-ed, When governments curtail our freedoms, LGBT people are first in the firing line

There have been three instances of late of government censorship across the world: the Kenyan government wrestling with Google as it tries to ban a music video, Indonesia grappling with social media companies to try and remove certain emoticons, and most recently, the Chinese state editing out certain storylines from television programs. These developments all have something vital in common: they are all attempts to erase LGBT people from the public eye.

The justifications given by these states are similar enough. The Kenyan Classification and Film Board refused to license the video for Same-Love Remix by Art Attack because it “does not adhere to the morals of the country”. Indonesia banned emojis showing couples of the same gender holding hands claiming that “social media must respect the culture and local wisdom of the country”. And the Chinese government has banned television storylines featuring same-sex couples as part of its crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”. The message is the same: LGBT people offend the majority, and so their existence should not be recognised.

These actions are troubling in and of themselves. However, it is also concerning on a deeper level, as it highlights the well-established link between LGBT persecution and authoritarianism.  Read more via New Statesman