Olympic Gay Kiss Aires In The World's Most Homophobic Countries

July 28, 2012 3:52 PM

A brief glimpse of a same-sex kiss shown during the Olympic opening ceremony, has become the first televised gay kiss in up to 76 anti-gay countries.

BBC Olympics Opening Sequence
Controversy surrounded the kiss between two female characters in the soap Brookside when it was aired in 1993.  Nineteen years on most of the world are used to seeing same sex relationships on film and TV.

However, the kiss was briefly shown during a montage of famous first kisses from the nation's television and film history, part of Danny Boyle's Β£27m production which wasn't afraid to tackle other social issues, such as women's rights and the NHS.

The ceremony was broadcast live to competing countries across the globe, including 76 countries where homosexuality is still illegal, in many of this countries this would have been the first gay kiss to ever be televised.

The inclusion of the clip means that this is the first time a same-sex kiss has ever been televised in some of the world's most homophobic countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen - all of which still class homosexuality as illegal and punishable by deportation, fines, prison time or death sentence.

Following the opening ceremony there were false reports that the kiss had been cut from NBC's coverage in the US.  The kiss did make up part of their broadcast but the American network did cut a moving 7/7 tribute in favour of commercials and an interview with US olympian Michael Phelps.  NBC have since stated that the segment was cut because it wasn't "tailored for the US audience."
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