Sat, Jan 05, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Activists urge boycott of 'homophobic' candidates

COLOR BLIND A spokesman for the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association called on lesbians and gays to 'look beyond green and blue' when they vote next Saturday

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Gay and lesbian rights activists yesterday released a list of legislative candidates they consider to be homophobic and urged gay and lesbian voters to boycott them in next Saturday's election.

"There are some things that gay and lesbian voters must keep in mind," Chen Po-chieh (陳伯杰), a Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association spokesman, told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. "First, boycott bad candidates -- including those who are against the homosexual marriage bill, those who have spoken out against gays and lesbians and those who have made sexist statements."

Thirty candidates across party lines were listed on the boycott list.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Wang Shih-cheng (王世堅) was singled out for criticism, as he once said that a "gay parade would have a bad influence on everyone -- old and young -- it's disgusting and immoral."

"Discrimination has always been the cause of hate crimes in human history. Undoubtedly, Wang should be the most condemned and boycotted legislative candidate of all because of his undisguised insults to gays and lesbians," Chen said.

He called on gays and lesbians to "look beyond green and blue," as "both the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] and the DPP put their party interests above that of minority groups and values of diversity and gender equality," he said.

At the end of the news conference, representatives from several gay and lesbian groups urged voters to throw their support behind the Green Party Taiwan.

"There are certainly lawmakers who pay attention to issues concerning gay and lesbian rights," Chen said. "However, in the current political climate ... those who care about minority groups cannot speak out," and therefore a third party that focuses on social issues must be supported.

Besides Wang, legislative candidates on the boycott list are Alex Fai (費鴻泰), Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), Lin Te-fu (林德福), Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝), Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏), Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑), Wu Cheng-dean (吳成典), Yang Jen-fu (楊仁福), Chen Chieh (陳杰), Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟), Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), Lee Ching-hua (李慶華), Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) and Shuai Hua-min (帥化民) from the KMT; Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙), Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳), Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧), Lin Chung-mo (林重謨), Sandy Yen (莊和子), Lin Tai-hua (林岱華), Kao Chien-chih (高建智) and Tsai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) from the DPP; New Party legislator-at-large candidate Joanna Lei (雷倩) and independent candidates Lin Chin-hsing (林進興), Yin Ling-ying (尹伶瑛) and Tsai Hau (蔡豪).

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