Sun, Jun 13, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Gay, lesbian groups accuse government of discrimination

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two months of Gay and Lesbian Awakening Day (GLAD) events drew to a close yesterday with gay and lesbian college groups presenting the results of GLAD 2004 while criticizing government repression of sexual identity expression.

The nine-year-old event was organized by 13 college groups this month and last, and included events such as a film festival and a literary and artistic expression competition. The event has traditionally focused on spreading awareness and encouraging dialogue about gay issues.

In light of government actions against the gay community, however, such as the confiscation of magazines from gay bookstore Gin Gin's last year and the recent lawsuit against controversial feminist Josephine Ho (何春蕤) for placing a bestiality link on her website, this year's GLAD organizers decided to speak out.

The groups yesterday advocated placing nude male photos in male restrooms as a symbolic attack on Article 235 of the Criminal Code (中華民國刑法), which states that anyone found distributing indecent audio, visual or written materials faces prosecution.

"Article 235 has been used recently to repress personal expression, so we advocated putting nude photos in public restrooms to expose the ridiculousness of the government's claims," said Kao Yi-chao (高穎超), an event organizer and graduate student in National Taiwan University's sociology department.

"It seems very natural to see nudity in commonplace situations; for example, in bathrooms or pools. Why is it, then, that seeing the real thing is OK, but seeing material reproductions is not?" Kao said.

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