Samoa Fa’afafine Association protests censor of Elton John film

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06/12/2019

LGBTI rights advocates in Samoa are protesting against the censoring of the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Samoa’s only cinema revealed the ban on Friday on its Facebook page and employees told local media it was due to the portrayal of gay sex in the film. In conservative Samoa – where around 98 percent of people identify as Christian – same-sex sexual relations are criminalised, although related laws are unenforced. Churches also wield considerable influence on communities and institutions. According to one local businessman who has attended annual meetings of Samoa’s Censorship Board, the body consistently bans content going against Christian values but especially any LGBTI content. The businessman requested anonymity to discuss the matter. Alex Su’a, president of the Samoa Fa’afafine Association, said the Censorship Board’s policies were discriminatory.

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