Badpuppy Gay Today

Wednesday, 24 September 1997

ASIA:

JAPAN'S FIRST GAY-RIGHTS LAWSUIT WINS
THAI TEACHER COLLEGES LIFT GAY BAN
SINGAPORE GROUP ORDERED TO CEASE ACTIVITY


Rex Wockner's Weekly International News Report

 

JAPAN'S FIRST GAY-RIGHTS LAWSUIT WINS

Gays won Japan's first gay-rights lawsuit September 16th.

The Tokyo High Court ruled that the city Board of Education discriminated against the gay group Occur in 1990 by refusing to let its members hold an overnight study meeting at a city-run youth hostel.

Tokyo's District Court reached the same conclusion in 1994 but the city appealed. The High Court awarded Occur $1,333 in damages.

"The rejection was unconstitutional as it denied gay people equal access to the public facility," the High Court said. "The city government should have given due consideration to homosexual people, and its indifference and ignorance will not be tolerated."

The court said young people are capable of understanding homosexuality and that education should be provided if confusion or tension results from the presence of homosexuals in public facilities.

Government agencies are "obligated to pay careful attention to the situation of homosexuals as a minority and to guarantee that their rights and interests be upheld," the court said. "Indifference and ignorance regarding homosexuality are inexcusable on the part of persons in the position of wielding governmental authority."

Lawyers for the city argued that letting gays sleep overnight in youth hostels would "cause disorder" because hostel rules require that "men and women ... sleep in separate rooms. [A]llowing gay people in the same room, who are likely to have sex, would cause troubles to other guests," they said.

Occur spokesman Masaki Inaba commented: "We are happy with the ruling because it stated clearly the Tokyo government's rejection was illegal. ... Discrimination against homosexuals is prevalent, and today's ruling gives hope for homosexuals."

The city has until September 30 to decide whether to appeal to the Japanese Supreme Court.

THAI TEACHER COLLEGES LIFT GAY BAN

The Rajabhat Institute, which operates 36 Thai teacher colleges,has lifted its year-old ban on gay students, "apparently under pressure from foreign ... non-governmental organizations," reported the Bangkok Post.

But the institute simultaneously proposed a new rule banning "sexually abnormal" people. Rajabhat Council member Wanlop Piyamanotham said sexual abnormalities include copulation with inanimate objects, exposing oneself in public and deriving pleasure from sadomasochistic acts.

The earlier gay ban resulted from a misunderstanding of the nature of sexual deviance, Wanlop said.

"The institute misunderstood and used the wrong word," he said. "That's why it seems to violate human rights. The best way is to single out sexually abnormal people."

To do that, the institute will use a sexual-abnormality screening test that Wanlop claimed was developed by the World Health Organization.

"Sexual deviants are not always sexually abnormal," he said. "Sexual abnormality is worse. They can't be good teachers -- they're emotionally abnormal."

Comments on the proposed new policies can be e-mailed to Mr. Sukavich Rangsitpol, Minister for Education and Chairman of the Rajabhat Institutes Council Ministry of Education, at bumrung@emisc.moe.go.th; and Mr. Charoon Choolarp, Secretary General of the Rajabhat Institutes Council, at sutichai@oric.rajabhat.ac.th. Both men can be reached by fax at 011-66-2-282-9241.

SINGAPORE GROUP ORDERED TO CEASE ACTIVITY

The Singapore gay group People Like Us has exhausted all appeals in the effort to be officially registered and the government has ordered the group to cease operations.

Under law, "Any person who is or acts as a member of an unlawful society, or attends a meeting of an unlawful society, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both."

PLU members can no longer speak to the media but a U.S.-based Web site continues to tell their story. The URL is http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/3878/.

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Rex Wockner's Weekly International News dating back to mid-1994 is fully searchable at http://www.wockner.com

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