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14 Jul 2014

Religious group targets Taiwan schools with anti-gay film

People in Taiwan are appalled that a Christian group has managed to repeatedly air an anti-gay film in the guise of teaching and respecting in the territory's public school system.

The Taipei Municipal Jieshou Junior High School recently invited a production company to show students a film called Smiling Cross.

The 2011 production by Passion 99 International Movie Co tells the story of a young male college student who longs for romance but who has difficulty meeting women.

Although the story seems innocuous, the question-and-answer session that follows is a textbook example as to why religious groups should be kept out of the public school system, reports taipeitimes.com.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang wrote on his Facebook page that at the end of the screening to an estimated 700 eighth grade students, the film’s lead actor appeared in front of the assembled children and “confessed” to taking the wrong path, a reference to being gay.

Finding god, he added, set him on the right path, and that is he was cured of his same-sex orientation. He concluded the session by telling the students to lower their heads and pray.

The lawmaker says he learned of the incident following outrage by parents that the school had signed off on the film and discussion.

Tuan said such schools should be responsible for teaching students to respect diversity but instead allowing anti-gay propaganda.

“Imposing a certain standard for one’s sexual orientation is torturous for gay students,” he said. “The school should not try to forcefully change a student’s sexual orientation.”

Ironically, Lin Tsai-jui, principal of Jieshou Junior High School said that the film was part of the school’s gender equality education and that the movie enables students to see that there are many kinds of options in life.

“Appealing to diversity of opinion to allow discrimination in the schools is a slap in the face for education,” the report says.

The  Ministry of Education earlier this week celebrated the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the Gender Equity Education Act but various state education agencies are headed by members linked to homophobic religious groups.

According to Passion 99’s blog, the movie was played at dozens of schools, from primary and secondary schools to universities.

Passion 99 is fully funded by Passion 99 Harvest Church, a conservative Christian organization that is active in anti-gay demonstrations.

Allowing such vested anti-gay information into the state school system raises questions about the separation of religion and the state, the taipeitimes.com report said.

It pointed out that Article 6 of the Education Basic Act clearly states that public schools shall not engage in promotional activities for any religion or belief nor force administrative personnel, teachers or students to participate in any religious activity.

Reader's Comments

1. 2014-07-15 02:13  
Taiwan, go forward, don't go backward...
2. 2014-07-15 05:12  
Free the World ;)
3. 2014-07-15 10:33  
this obsession by some Christian groups with sexual orientation reveals a real loss of any direction whatsoever. I feel sad for these people, it's like they need an enemy to feel reassured about themselves. Instead of going to highschools preaching such obsessive ideology, go to northern Africa help the immigrants that couldn't make it past the Mediterranian, go to Mexico to help children who are used by drug cartels, go to the Middle East to fight against women being stoned to death. Get real, and get a life. You have nothing to teach, and you're misleading children for no reason whatsoever.
4. 2014-07-15 10:35  
Oh, and if you're one of them and reads my comment above, feel free to send me hate-mail. Half of my brain and life experience, my moral values and principles, are enough to make you feel like an ant. Actually, ants deserve more respect than you. So, let's make it a 1/3rd.
Comment edited on 2014-07-15 10:42:49
5. 2014-07-15 18:08  
5. my neigbour is religious, just tell me today.
if there some people hurt him, lie to hi, discriminate him. than killing such people are legal.

6. you can see that few Religions made riots, murder, terrorism, war, lie, libel
and they got immunity

7. you must learn history.
Everything become legal for religion
immoral become moral for religion,

8. The same way for gay, anything should be legal for gay , no matter what people said wrong and correct.

9. Mean that you should no excuse for what religion said
6. 2014-07-16 06:22  
Blueblond...I couldn't have said it better! Your comments are perfect!
7. 2014-07-22 12:17  
bluebond: Right-wing evangelical Christian groups from the US have indeed gone to Africa - not North Africa though, too many Muslims there. One of them's apparently gone to Uganda to instigate anti-gay legislation.

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