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An Archie Comics collection was recently banned in Singapore because it features the marriage of gay character Kevin Keller, but Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men #51 managed to escape a similar fate and remains available.
Although that 2012 issue depicts the wedding of Northstar and Kyle Jinadu, Singapore’s Today reports the Media Development Authority determined it was a balanced depiction of same-sex marriage.
“The issue featured characters who objected to the wedding and this offered a balanced treatment on the issue of gay marriage,” an MDA spokesman told the website. In the comic, by Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins, Warbird tells Northstar she “doesn’t recognize the validity of the ceremony vows,” and therefore won’t attend.
The MDA is tasked with both promoting and regulating Singapore’s media industries. Under the Content Guidelines for Imported Publications, those “that encourage, promote or glamourise sexually permissive and alternative lifestyles and deviant sexual practices are generally not allowed.”
The spokesman told Today that the MDA evaluated the comic in 2012 and determined it didn’t breach the guidelines, “which allow for the balanced depictions of same-sex relationships if they do not encourage or promote alternative lifestyles.”
The ban of the third volume of Archie: The Married Life, which contains Life With Archie #16, was discovered earlier this month by Singapore-based cartoonist Sonny Liew, who searched for the comic following the controversial decision by the National Library Board to remove and destroy copies of three gay-themed children’s books.
Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater responded to the ban, saying, “Riverdale will always be about acceptance, equality and safety. I’m sad readers in Singapore will miss out on the chance to read such a pivotal moment in comics.”