Wed, Dec 10, 2003 - Page 4 News List

One-third of gays suffer harassment


Thirty--six percent of homosexuals in Taiwan have been harassed or discriminated against because of their sexuality, according to the results of a survey by the Taiwan Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Association released yesterday.

The association polled mostly homosexuals, but 17 percent of the 1,978 valid responses were from heterosexuals and 3 percent from bisexuals.

While 36 percent of homosexuals said they had been harassed, 60 percent said they had witnessed others being harassed.

In addition, thirteen percent of heterosexuals said they had been harassed because they had been misidentified as homosexual.

The survey showed that 36 percent of harassment cases occurred on university campuses, 31.6 percent at home, 24.1 percent in the workplace and the remainder at other unspecified places.

"Teenage homosexuals usually lead a painful life because their sexual preference is not permitted and they question their existence. They are being shunned as early as puberty," said Wang Ping (王蘋), secretary-general of the Taiwan Gender/Sexuality Rights Association.

The association also investigated what rights homosexuals sought the most and that they would want the government to protect.

"We want the rights to privacy, media, education, work, politics and civil rights to be better protected," said Chan Ming-chou (詹銘洲), a Taiwan Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Association board member.

Chan said that the state-owned Public Television Service should reserve a certain amount of time for homosexual-related programs.

Chan also suggested that the junior high school health education textbook include a chapter on sexual orientation.

The government should also reserve a proportion of legislative seats for homosexuals, Chan said.

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