Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
A photograph of two men kissing has been banned by Australian authorities after it was deemed too explicit. The image, which was to be used to advertise the Brisbane Queer Film Festival, was pulled by Lifestyle Committee Chairman Krista Adams, who said, ‘We are mindful of the community’s views and believe that one of the three posters may be seen by many as too confronting.’
Despite being a pastiche of the 1953 film From Here to Eternity, where a male-female couple kiss in lapping waves, the two men were apparently too much for the conservative attitudes of the council in Queensland.
Reality TV show star Jake Harrison, who was one of the models, told The Courier-Mail he was still excited to be an event ambassador but was disappointed in the situation.
‘It is annoying,’ he said. ‘As soon as this type of ad, featuring two gay men is used, it is deemed unfit for Brisbane’s eyes.’
Fans quickly took to Twitter to complain, describing the council’s decision as homophobic, and wondering if the same decision would have been taken if it was a straight couple.
“Confronting” is the most heinous dog-whistle to homophobic fucks http://t.co/axtolAuBSI
— Oli Young (@oliyoung) February 21, 2014
— Nick Wiggins (@nick__w) February 21, 2014
The council defended itself in a weak Facebook post on Friday, saying that there were ‘concerns it may not comply with industry regulations and community expectations.’ It continued that: ‘[The] Council is a strong supporter of the Brisbane Queer Film Festival, but is also mindful of the entire community,’ before thanking outraged commenters for their ‘feedback and interest on this issue.’
It is not the first time that Brisbane prudes have bristled at gay material; in 2011, advertising company Adshel removed safer sex ads from bus shelters after receiving 30 complaints as a result of campaigning by The Australian Christian Lobby Group. The pictures of the two fully clothed men embracing were reinstated after a Facebook campaign attracted 80,000 supporters.
The lobby group’s founder, Wendy Francis, had earlier been forced to apologise publicly after sending out a Tweet likening gay marriage to legalising child abuse.
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