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14 Mar 2007

news around the world 14-mar-07

Hong Kong's Legislative Council panel has unanimously passed a motion demanding that the Broadcasting Authority withdraws its earlier ruling that a TV show that discussed same-sex partnerships was biased. In France, the highest court has declared the first marriage by a gay couple in France to be unlawful.

Hong Kong lawmakers want ruling on gay show reversed
A Legislative Council panel has unanimously passed a motion demanding that the Broadcasting Authority withdraws its ruling that RTHK's Hong Kong Connection - Gay Lovers which discussed same-sex partnerships was unfair, partial and biased towards homosexuality.

Well known lesbian activist-couple Connie Chan (left) and Wei Siu-lik, and gay activist Joseph Cho Man-kit discussed same-sex partnerships in Hong Kong Connection -- Gay Lovers which aired late last year.
The panel on Monday also called into question the independence of the board since its members were appointed by the government and did not include members of the broadcasting industry.

The controversy began when the authority issued a warning to RTHK in January on its programme broadcast in July last year, Hong Kong Connection - Gay Lovers, criticising it for only presenting the views of a gay man and a lesbian couple on same-sex marriage. The trio who was interviewed were gay activist Joseph Cho Man-kit, and well known lesbian activist-couple Connie Chan and Wei Siu-lik who were interviewed on Fridae last year.

It said RTHK's interview with homosexual couples had breached the Codes of Practice on Television Program Standards as it presented only a pro-gay view. It also ordered TVB to remove what it called offensive language should there be a repeat showing of An Autumn's Tale.

The ruling has also attracted the ire of some 20 gay and gay-friendly organisations and individuals who expressed their disagreement and disappointment at the authority's ruling which, they said, prescribed moral standards and did not respect human rights.

"I felt humiliated [by the ruling]," Cho was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post. "The authority's decision is discriminatory and it implies that homosexuals are deviants and should be kept from everybody else."

Citing discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians in Hong Kong, he called for legislation to protect them from unfair treatment and to allow same-sex marriage in the programme.

"It is a genuine documentary about my life. I was not trying to change people's views or sexuality," he said. "I just want to be treated equally. People wouldn't expect a TV programme on Christians to have a half segment on the views of the atheists, would they?"

He has sought legal advice from solicitor Michael Vidler and barrister Hector Pun Hei about applying for a judicial review by the end of this month. He explained that a legal challenge might be a last resort given that gay rights groups had exhausted all avenues in seeking action against the contentious ruling.

Vidler argued that the authority's ruling had breached the Basic Law, the Bill of Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantee equal treatment for all. He said discrimination against gays touched on many aspects of life in Hong Kong, including tax laws, immigration and employment.

The Equal Opportunities Commission said it had received 1,103 inquiries on the case up to the end of last month, with most expressing disapproval with the authority's decision.

The programme can be viewed on RTHK web site at www.rthk.org.hk.

Related articles:
Gay marriage show sparks TV row in Hong Kong
Fighters and lovers: Connie Chan and Wei Siu-lik

France high court rules same-sex marriage invalid
France's highest court has on Tuesday declared the first marriage by a gay couple in France to be unlawful, thus annulling the knot tied by the two men in 2004.

The couple, Stephane Charpin and Bertrand Charpentier, were married in a much publicised civil ceremony on June 5, 2004, in Begles, a town in the southwest Bordeaux region. The government immediately said the union was outside the law, and a series of court decisions unfavorable to the couple followed.

In the latest decision, the court ruled that "under French law, marriage is a union between a man and a woman," backing a 2005 decision by an appeals court in Bordeaux.

The lower court that initially rejected the marriage noted that gay couples in France are already covered by legislation that grants non-married cohabiting couples of the same or opposite sexes some rights enjoyed by married couples.

No other gay couple is known to have married in France.

Prosecutor Marc Domingo said during an earlier court hearing that it is the parliament, not judges, who should have the final word in any legalisation of marriages involving same-sex couples.

No apology from top military officer for gay remark
Despite a flurry of condemnation by gay rights groups and lawmakers in the United States after the country's top military commander said he believed homosexual acts were "immoral," Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday he should not have voiced his personal view but stopped short of apologising for his remarks regarded by many as being offensive.

In a newspaper interview Monday, Pace likened homosexual acts to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces.

He said: "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe that the armed forces of the United States are well served by saying through our policies that it's OK to be immoral in any way."

On Tuesday, Pace issued a statement acknowledging that the Defense Department's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays is a sensitive subject and said: "I should have focused more on my support of the policy and less on my personal moral views."

Lawmakers of both parties and two gay advocacy groups have strongly condemned Pace's remarks.

"General Pace's comments are outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful to the 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces," said the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has represented some of the thousands dismissed from the military for their sexual orientation.

"Their sexual orientation has nothing to do with their capability to serve in the US military," said Luis Vizcaino, spokesman for the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign.

Under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, introduced by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 to relax a complete ban on gays, commanders are not allowed to enquire about the sexual orientation of their personnel.

Reader's Comments

1. 2007-03-14 21:16  
As a Hongkonger, I was shocked and found it ridiculous when I first heard of the ruling by the Boradcasting Authority. They should be ashamed of their discriminatory remarks and biased point of view.

Lucikly, there are some kind-hearted legislators and a former high-rank government official spoke out with conscience. That's why I always vote for the candidates of the democratic camps, who fight the social injustice and discrimination.

They are never alone and have our full support!
2. 2007-03-14 21:19  
I took a look at the Hong Kong film and thought it very gently and compassionately addressed a continuing social injustice. There isn't a single thing that could be seen as offensive in it.

But the response raises important questions. Homophobia is seen as a social disease like racism in the UK, and the suggestion that a homophobe should get equal airtime as a response to such a programme would be met with understandable outrage, just as it would if a racist wanted equal airtime in response to a programme about a family suffering racial abuse.

My heart goes out to the participants in the film. Don't despair though. Ten years ago, complete equality seemed a distant prospect for Brits too.
3. 2007-03-14 21:49  
I ' m french in Asia, and despite France is The Country Of Human Rights, we are still ruled by some old people with old state of mind who are affraid to build a new future. Many european northern countries , who are more advanced in term of social progress already accepted gay marriage. It will happen to France as well. Sooner or Later. Watch out! And I wish governments from Asia will be inspired (they often do)
4. 2007-03-15 03:25  
What's wrong here, governments are meddling on private matters on their private citizens which should not be their freaking businesses.

And we still have religious freaks who try to impose their holier and better than thou laws. A truly democratic and civilized nations must separate the state and religions.

Bible says divorce is a sin, so if gay sex is wrong and sinful and must be outlawed, how comes we allow divorce then ?

How many hypocrite Republican fundies have divorces in the USA, cheating on their spouses, sexually abused innocent kids, preaching againt gay sex but having sex with gay prostitutes ???

Yucks !

and I believe this kind of hypocricy happened also anywhere including Asia and Singapore itself.

What wrong with gays and lesbians serving in the military ? The laws should punish sex abusers, rapists etc. Consenting sex in private between single adults or even cheating spouses should be private and internal matters. Spouses who are cheating and got caught should deal with their partners wether they will forgive or asking for a divorce etc.

Don't governments have any more important priorities to do ?

Equal rights now and no excuses...........

And all religious fundies can shoved their doctrines in their own throats.

Thanks !

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7. 2007-03-15 09:33  
The Broadcasting Authority here has NO BALLS! Because of complaint by some individuals, they will rush to an explanation to please any complaint made. Very typical of a government agency here.

I wish they really think first before making such a stupid comment.

Anyhow, I dun really 100% blame them. I think those who made the complaints are to blame as well. If they can write a letter to them, I assume they r educated in someway. How stupid can these straight ppls be! Can u really turn gay if I keep showing or even promoting gay culture? Will a straight man after watching this program has a desire to rim another man's glory hole or wanna fuck it? I dun think so....so please think before making such a stupid remark.
8. 2007-03-15 09:47  
* The NCCS should be reminded that God & Jesus Christ don't preach hate, bigotry, and discrimination against other people.

* For those countries that practice Buddhism, there aren't a lot of hatred toward gay people in my humble opinion.

* Generally speaking, the majority of straight people still have negative & inaccurate perceptions about gay people.

* We should have more gay prides & gay circuit parties so that straight people can see what we look like, how we present ourselves, how we interact with others, & in time they'll get accustomed to us. However, this is a double-edged sword.

* In order to have acceptance, we should present ourselves in positive & constructive ways. A good example is to have parents & friends of gays & lesbians marching in the gay pride parades. Another excellent example is to promote AIDS awareness campaigns aiming at both straight & gay people.

* The bottom line is that gay Asians should unite with other gay people around the world in the fight against AIDS, homophobia, & bigotry. According to an old adage, united we stand & divided we fall. I find that this is very true indeed.


* In the United Kingdom, the government has lifted the ban on gays in the military. They've also legally recognized same sex marriages.

* I've researched history of gay rights movement in the United States & in other countries. What I've found is that gay people have to ask for & fight for our rights to survive in the predominantly straight world. In other words, the rights don't come to gay people automatically!

* Now that Snowball & Nation are banned in Singapore, will they move those parties to Phuket Island in Thailand?

* Please don't use the violent approach to ask for gay rights because this method/technique won't work based upon past experiences in other countries around the world.

* Also, please don't french kiss or have sex in public/common places when you go to gay circuit parties because straight people will complain in the masses & the police will shut down or ban our gay circuit parties forever. (Note: I've never seen straight people french kiss or have sex in public/common places when they go to straight rave parties).
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11. 2007-03-15 12:13  
Fact #1 : Look at all the wars u can recall- past, present and potentially future. They are all started by Straight people!

Fact #2: No other religions in history can claim to have caused more deaths in the name of God than Christianity and Islam.

Fact #3: All these rulings are not just about religious fundamentalists. Alot of well known abuser of faiths, do so because of personal dysfunctionality. They all need to have a control over others using force. And they use morality and their own delusional perception of what their god is to justify these actions.

When christians, or those that think they are, go around believing one can commit the most scarlet of sins and then simply confess and gets absolution to start clean and go to heaven where others burn in toaster oven, does it surprise anyone that to these people, sin is just a bag of dirty laundry waiting to be washed before the next bag comes in. And man, they have lotsa laundry. This pales in not even any comparison to other religions that believes in retribution and karma and reincarnation where one's actions will come back to reward or punish them. Moreover, what kind of beliefs reward one with (how many??) Virgins in heaven if one kills for their god. Take a number Madonna...

So there you have it. Simple mathematical equation..>>

St8 people+christians/those that resemble them+personal dysfunctionaity+power hungry+self righteousness+ ...any more to add here???... and you wonder why we are not extinct already...or are we almost there?

Gay people however are not saints. Our mooto is Make Love Not War. But, the worst in that lifestyle range from wanton drugged out parties, orgies, to respectable unions and essential life and art culture throughout history and more. So we have alot of consolidation to go before any positive representation can be modelled.

It is therefore important to recognise that this is a numbers game. It's no use having st8 people stealing candy from the gay bedroom but insist on being st8. I applaud the gay activists and their courage for trying to make lives better for our own kind. But again, men, st8 or gay, usually take the paths of least resistance. Until we march and show we are queer and are here to stay, these st8 mutants will do everything to conquer and divide.

So you see people, you better work, shante, shasay !..:P


Christ sacrificed himself so that the sinful lowly man can live. That's true Christianity. But these days, u slowly wait ok?
12. 2007-03-16 01:20  
Those who always give problems to homosexual should go to study Psychology...
And get a life...
13. 2007-03-22 08:46  
It seems to me that the issue of Religion and Same sex issues will always cause strong reactions from everyone for or against. The bottom line is that we are all human and we all live on the same planet and in my own personal opinion if it is good enough for homosexuality to exist in the animal kingdom with most species including our closest neighours the apes....then something inside me tells me that this is not an unnatural thing at all but rather just a physicality and expression of companionship and bonding. Sex after all is just a sensation....everything else is a state of mind.

It seems that religion is aimed at the weak minded...those who feel the need to believe in something or Someone greater than them selves when in fact this is not the case. Everything that you ever need will come from within yourself whether you believe or not.

Now that we know that creation *as is taught in many schools* is no longer a viable options since the proving of the Big Bang... why can't people start to take a serious look at the world take a good hard look at what is happening and ask yourself Why?

If there was some almight force greater than the power of the universe that is so concerned over mans behaviour then why is nothing being done...

I tell you why, it is because there is no higher intervention cause one doesnt exist...unless of course they themselves live on some other galaxy some unconceivable number of light years away and in which case we will never get to see them.

Why can we just all get along at then end of the day we all come from the same gene pool so there is some connection there with everyone whether we like it or not and if you have to condemn people for their sexual behaviour then condemn those that take advantage of young children and those that are married with one or two mistresses on the side.. Perhaps when the straight world can get their act together pehaps then and only then maybe they make critisism of the minority.


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