Wed, Jan 14, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Bookstore wants gay judge for porn case

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lai Jeng-jer, left, owner of Gin Gin's, a prominent gay bookstore in Taipei, and his lawyer condemn the Keelung District Prosecutors' Office yesterday for bringing charges against him for selling erotic magazines.

PHOTO: LIAO CHENG-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES

The gay bookshop Gin Gin's (晶晶書庫) yesterday filed a petition to get a homosexual judge to preside over a case brought against it for selling erotic gay magazines.

The police went to Gin Gin's on Aug. 25 last year and took away more than 500 erotic gay magazines.

The confiscated magazines included some that are legally published in Hong Kong and His, a Taiwanese magazine.

Gin Gin's proprietor Lai Jeng-jer (賴正哲) has been charged with offences against morals and the prosecutor has asked for a simplified judgment.

A simplified judgment is proposed by the prosecutor when the accused has committed only a minor crime but there is already sufficient evidence to convict the offender.

"Magazines like His have been on sale in Eslite (誠品書店), and when Gin Gin's have these magazines on display, the magazines are always wrapped and marked with clear warning signs on the front. Our customers all know very clearly about the erotic contents of the magazines before they pay up," Lai said.

Lai pointed out that many erotic heterosexual magazines had more provocative content than the confiscated gay magazines, and he said that when police wanted to crack down on "indecent" publications, they should not treat homosexual ones differently from heterosexual ones.

Lai yesterday also filed a petition to the court to have a homosexual judge preside over the trial and to invite 100 homosexuals to review the magazines to consider whether the contents are indecent.

"Taiwan is a place where people don't know very much about homosexuals and where there is considerable discrimination against homosexuals, so to get a fair trial, I would like to ask heterosexual judges to avoid the case," Lai said.

"The definition of indecency may vary from person to person, and a homosexual male's perception of indecency cannot be arbitrated by a heterosexual male, so we would like to have 100 homosexual males to review the magazines and see if they consider the content indecent."

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