Sun, Mar 20, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Gay porn testing 'indecency' limits

A FINE LINEA Taipei bookstore specializing in gay and lesbian literature was slapped with indecency charges, sparking a heated debate over the meaning of morality

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Ho said that the legal battle Lai faces, as well as the lawsuit brought against her by conservative groups over the link to a "Beast Love" Web site on her academic research web page, show the limited room for open-minded and rational discussion and display of sexual issues in society.

The suit against Ho was filed in 2003 by a group of activists, lawyers, teachers and parents objecting to Ho's having posted a link to a site detailing intercourse between humans and animals, on the Web page of National Central University's Center for the Study of Sexuality, where Ho has served as director for four years.

Prosecutors at the Taipei District Court later declared Ho not guilty of offenses against morality last year.

"I urge the public to reconsider the terms `pornography' and `obscenity' in our criminal code, as they are outdated, and also to get to know sexual images and culture from a modern-day perspective," Ho said.

Wu Ming-hsuan (吳銘軒), spokesperson for the Coalition Against Pseudo-Rating Regulations, agreed.

"The need for sexual information will never stop, and the definition of pornography remains a debatable issue. However, the government and conservative groups should stop playing the role of regulator and banning pornography," said Wu.

"It is important for a democratic society to respect the freedom to read, and accept the existence of exotic and different voices or ideologies," he added.

Lai said the recent release of the original cut of noted director Tsai Ming-liang's (蔡明亮) latest film The Wayward Cloud (天邊一朵雲) contains explicit nude scenes and "deviant" sexual behaviors, and shows the need for the public to tolerate and also accept the various representation of human bodies and sexual orientations.

"If the government and the public recognized the film's artistry, they should be able to accept the photo display or written words of human body parts or sexual behaviors, such as penis, oral sex, or sperm, which are natural and nothing to be ashamed of," said Lai.

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