Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Rights groups fight for improved gender, sex rights

MOVING BACKWARDS Social groups say rights over gender equality, sex and sexuality were on the slide when compared to the positions of other human rights


Social groups yesterday said that while the government was promoting human rights enthusiastically, other rights regarding gender identification, sex and sexuality were actually moving backwards.

"In 1966 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was passed to forbid promotion of discrimination against ethnic groups or religious hatred, and the covenant has also been extended to cover discrimination against sexual orientation and disability over the years," said Wang Ping (王蘋), secretary-general of the Taiwan Gender/Sexuality Rights Association.

"That was the human rights concept which already existed 36 years ago. But if we examine Taiwan using this standard, many Taiwanese legislators have broken the law, and even the vice president herself is a violator," Wang said. He was referring to legislators' malicious language and attitudes toward women, and Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) statement that AIDS is a punishment from the gods.

The Taiwan Gender/Sexuality Rights Association, the Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters, the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline, the Transgender Butterfly Garden and the Persons with HIV/AIDS Rights Advocacy Association of Taiwan yesterday also announced the ten major news stories this year about sexual rights violation.

The ten stories are:

-- The closing down of National Central University English professor Josephine Ho's Web site, which contained a link to bestiality, and a raid on the gay bookshop Gingin for openly selling homoerotic magazines.

-- Vice President Annette Lu called the spread of AIDS s a form of punishment from the gods, and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hou Shui-sheng (侯水盛) said that if gays all got married, no-one would have children anymore and Taiwan would perish.

-- The launching of the National Health Insurance IC card, which contains a comprehensive medical history of the patient and might reveal illnesses the patient is unwilling to have publicized.

-- The discriminative definitions of "homosexual," "transgender," "sex industry workers," and "AIDS" in the Chinese dictionary released by the Ministry of Education.

-- Police officers paid men to have sex with prostitutes, then arrest the prostitutes afterwards to improve their performance records.

-- Police officers tested both urine and blood of clubbers during a raid on a gay bar in Kaohsiung to see whether the clubbers have taken ecstasy or have AIDS.

-- Cheng Hui-fang (鄭惠芳), a mafia chief in Chiayi, was thought to be male when first arrested in December. But later it was found he was a transgender person, who underwent female-to-male surgery earlier this year. There have been lots of sensational reports regarding Cheng's gender and sexuality.

-- Taiwanese snakeheads threw smuggled Chinese women into the sea, where some drowned.

-- Transsexuals Lin Kuo-hua (林國華) and Tsai Ya-ting (蔡雅婷) committed suicide.

-- Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yu Yueh-hsia (游月霞) called Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) an "old maid" and said that those who do not get married must have some kind of problem, while DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳) was heard to say during a legislative session, "[Independent Legislator] Sisy Chen (陳文茜) said her breasts are for socializing. I also want to socialize with her breasts."

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