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8 Mar 2010

School textbooks to introduce gay topics from 2011: Taiwan's Ministry of Education

Following last week's protest outside the Taipei city government building by activists protesting a city council's memo to ban gay rights groups from primary and high schools, Taiwan's Ministry of Education said on Sunday that gay topics will find a place in elementary and secondary school textbooks from next year.

eTaiwan News reported: “Textbooks mentioning gay issues would be introduced in seven study areas from the 2011 school year, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Education.

“The campaign would seek the support of local governments, schools on all levels and the public at large to guarantee the rights of different gender groups to receive education and to root out discrimination, ministry officials said.

“Students should be able to grow up happily in an environment of tolerance and respect, according to the MOE."

"It will give teachers the authorisation to openly discuss homosexuality with students," Wang Ping, secretary-general of the Taiwan Gender/Sexuality Rights Association, was quoted as saying in Earthtimes.org. "Some teachers are afraid of doing so due to opposition from fellow teachers or school authorities," she added.

"We hope the Education Ministry is not just making a publicity stunt, but will make sure that the policy is implemented in all schools," she said.

The Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline also welcomed the Education Ministry's announcement that it is to integrate gay questions into the school curriculum.

"The Education Ministry's decision is a positive move," and necessary to fight prejudice against homosexuality in schools, the hotline's spokeswoman Lu Hsin-chieh said. Some teachers and associations promote the idea to students that homosexuality can be cured, she added.

The report added that the Taiwan parliament passed the Gender Equality Education Bill in 2004, banning discrimination against homosexuals and trans-gender students and teachers in school.

Taiwan

Reader's Comments

1. 2010-03-08 20:24  
Yay yay!! When will it happen in Malaysia?
2. 2010-03-08 21:15  
A brave and good move by Taiwan MOE!
p('o')q
3. 2010-03-08 22:08  
Well done Taiwan!

Another example to Singaporeans - don't complain about lack of rights, unless you're willing to stand up and speak out.

4. 2010-03-08 22:21  
i am super proud to be living hear!! wow
5. 2010-03-08 22:55  
comment #1. i guess never...lost my hope here.anyways,God bless Taiwan(and curses Malaysia) for being so advanced.GO GO GO!!!!
6. 2010-03-08 23:26  
Pigs would fly should Singapore do the same.
And I unfortunately do not believe pigs will fly.
7. 2010-03-08 23:42  
PIGS FLY IN MY DREAMS...and men too...nevertheless...it's just a dream.

the reason why this will not happen in Malaysia is because it IS a MUSLIM country and i RESPECT that...

fly away i go and never return i will...*sigh*
8. 2010-03-09 04:50  
LOL pigs WILL evolve to fly first before Singapore will even remotely have that!
9. 2010-03-09 09:21  
great move , wish they were doing here in mainland as well , but anyway a great move by the govt. Happy for all Taiwanese ...
10. 2010-03-09 09:33  
It's rather funny that all comments so far (except #4) are just "mirror comments" and not actual reflections on the core of the article.
Have you guys noticed that in 90% cases, when you tell someone that you didn't sleep well last night (or that you knee hurts, or that you had some argument with your bf), their immediate response will be something like "oh, really ? well, I..." and they'll start talking about themselves. Right on cue !
That's what's called a mirror response.
Such reactions are totally legitimate and understandable, however this piece of news deserves much more than that, don't you think ?

If a state is actually on the verge of implementing a school curriculum which includes fighting prejudice against gays, well... this is not casual information, it's HUGE ! How many countries in the world have officially and visibly taken that step ? In most "developed" countries it's kind of politically incorrect to be homophobic, but how does that translate in the school books and curriculum ? Answer : it doesn't. It depends solely on the teacher, and that says it all. Look at how most PE teachers, for example, still promote homophobic attitudes in sports and use them to "work up the boys" during training.
Homophobic attitudes still prevail because they were (and still are) TAUGHT to us, blatantly or subtly, but most of all REPEATEDLY and over a long period of time. Anti gay insults are still number one on the insult chart all over the school world, and that is where the problem STARTS.

Adressing the problem at school level is therefore the most mature, intelligent, and potentially EFFICIENT way to act politically and socially, because it goes to the ROOT, for once.

In the US, Matthew Shepard's death initiated the Matthew Shepard's Act, which reinforced punishment of murders clearly identified as hate crimes, and I guess it's a good thing, but of course the nagging question was and still is : WHY was he killed ? why the hatred ? where does it come from ? why is it so prevalent ? why are MOST governments apparently so lenient when it comes to letting such hate spread and blossom ? Matthew Sheppard was murdered not because he was gay but because most people are so efficiently brought up to hate gays that some of them end up thinking it's normal to get rid of "that scum" by any available means.
Those people were there at his funeral, alive and well and proudly brandishing their sinister "God Hates Fags" slogans for all to see.

Now... let's not get too excited, because there's probably a long way to go from the intention to the realization. When and if Taiwan tries to implement their new curriculum, they will be met with homophobic resistance which started in those very same schools. What will be left of the original intention in the end ? I'm tempted to say :"God only knows"... :-)
11. 2010-03-09 10:05  
What sort of placebo statement is this? Its just as likely that the 'Textbooks mentioning gay issues' would perpetuate the negative stereotypes already so common throughout Asia

"It will give teachers the authorisation to openly discuss homosexuality with students," has got to be the naive statement of the year. Does this guy really think that Taiwanese teachers are so liberal minded and confident in themselves that they could even mouth the word 'homosexual'

Anyway, who takes any notice of text books. More to the point is what is the Taiwanese attitude to openly portraying gay men and women on the mainstream media

Methinks that once again Asians have had the wool pulled over their eyes
12. 2010-03-09 20:59  
Denseaus: Actually Asian societies have the most accepting attitude towards homosexuality compared to the Christianity-dominated Western society. The main religions in East Asia are not adverse or anti homosexuality. I am not surprised that the Taiwanese MOE is open to include this issue in the textbooks. Singapore, having the misfortune of having too many Christian politicians and vocal Christian extremists, will not be able to openly declare Homosexuality is a normal behaviour in the near future. (and I forsee, not for the next few years)
13. 2010-03-09 21:47  
Geez, you guys are so misinformed. Pigs do fly in Singapore. They fly 1st class all the time. The oldest pig is going to fly to India this week I read. Singapore, as it claims, is the most advanced Animal Farm in SE Asia.

Bravo Taiwan. Your spirit is truly deserving of your independence and defiance against your mainland big brother. God Bless!
14. 2010-03-10 08:45  
l now officially tip my hat to Taiwan or as we say,' kau tau'. Even Holland hasn't come that far.
15. 2010-03-10 10:24  
Denseaus: Trust me, Taiwanese are more liberal than you think they would be. Though you may be skeptical about the outcome, but I think this is, as Yverserwan has put it, HUGE!
I truely believe that by allowing teachers to openly discuss the topic of homosexuality in school will help promoting understanding, tolerance and acceptance towards gay ppl. I'm in full support for this move!
Jammyboi: You r hilarious! I almost fell off my chair laughing at your statement!
Conundrum: Even if Pakatan won the next election, it won't happen in M'sia.
16. 2010-03-14 13:40  
I'm glad to hear this news :)
17. 2010-03-15 12:35  
WE, in Ang Ladlad Partylist, a political organization (LGBT) here in the Philippines is truly glad on this new development!

This is a first step towards a sweet victory!
Comment #18 was deleted by its author on 2010-12-31 17:42
19. 2010-12-31 17:43  
To 3. Otin,

It is not because Singaporeans are not willing to speak up, but it is due to different location and political structures.

Imagine the Jews in Europe in the 1930-40s. They are discriminated and try to speak up. Those in Germany spoke up and those in Switzerland spoke up. But those Jews in Germany will fail because Germany has been established by satan as the religious center for Nazism. Nazism spread from Germany across Europe but Switzerland is a place of refuge chosen by God for the remnant Jews, until the religious and demonic forces of Nazism has been destroyed in 1945.

Imagine the Chinese of the KMT party between in the 1945-55. They went for war against the communists. In the Mainland they painfully lost every battle. However, in Taiwan the situation turned around and they won. This is because the Beijing has been established by satan as the religious center for Maoism to steal, kill and destroy the Chinese. Maoism spread from Beijing across the entire Mainland but Taiwan is a place of refuge chosen by God for the remnant Chinese, until the religious and demonic forces of Maoism had been destroyed in 1976.

Similarly the homosexuals in this age (1980s to present) are discriminated and try to speak up. Those in Singapore spoke up and those in Taiwan spoke up. But those homosexuals in Singapore will fail because Singapore has been established by satan as the religious center for Evangelicalism and Coelism. Evangelicalism and Coelism will spread from Singapore across East Asia to steal, kill and destroy homosexuals (their dreams if not their bodies) but Taiwan is a place of refuge chosen by God for the remnant homos, until the religious and demonic forces of Evangelicalism and Coelism has been destroyed in ??

Just like a farmer who sows seed in the ground, whether or not he reaps a harvest will depend on the type of soil he sows and also the season. If the soil is hard and the season is winter, he will have a big and painful loss. But if the ground is fertile soil and it is rainy season, he will have a bountiful harvest and becomes rich.

Homosexuals, by now you will know where is the 'good' soil. There are places where you will encounter the most resistance and some places least resistance when you go for your dreams. Reserve your energy and attention and sow in that 'good' soil! Go into the place of refuge!

Yes, the evangelicals will still be there but it is highly likely that they will fail the battle, if the place is a true place of refuge for homosexuals. Do not sow in religious centers. You will definitely lose the battle.

Note: Evangelical pastors have been prophesying that Singapore will be the Antioch for Asia (i.e. religious center for Christian missions) since the 1990s. It has been 20 years by now and has come to pass. So let go of Singapore immediately!

Happy New Year!

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