What will reportedly be Taiwan’s first gay Buddhist wedding shall be held in Taoyuan County next month, according to the Taipei Times:
“We are not only doing it for ourselves, but also for other gays and lesbians,” Fish Huang said in a telephone interview.
The 30-year-old … said that marriage never crossed her mind until she saw a movie last year.
The film portrayed two lesbians whose ill-fated relationship concluded after one died and the other was left heartbroken over the denial of spousal benefits.
“It’s so sad,” Huang said, who plans to wed her partner of seven years on Aug. 11 at a Buddhist altar …
There shall be blessings, chants, and lectures from Buddhist masters on marriage. The ceremony won’t be legally binding.
Last week, a group of university students praised Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen for her stance on gender equality, specifically pointing out for admiration Tsai’s promises to protect gay rights. It is of course, election season. Politicians invariably pander to voters by making pledges that are only sometimes carried out. But Tsai may not have ulterior motives. After all, “pandering” to the gay community might not exactly be a vote-getter. Gay people likely make up less than 10 percent of the population and the percentage of local voters with reservations about homosexuality almost certainly outnumber gay voters. Not much is known about its proposals, but the DPP has promised to release a more detailed “white paper” on the subject of the promotion of gay rights before the January presidential election.
News from KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia.
Tue Aug 16, 2011
Getting married on the upcoming anniversary of Malaysia’s independence day on August 31 holds special meaning for the country’s first openly gay pastor, who says he is seeking greater tolerance in this Muslim-majority country.
Malaysia’s only openly gay pastor is urging homosexuals in the mainly Muslim country to "keep coming out" to help battle homophobia, as he gets set to tie the knot with his American partner. Reverend Ouyang Wen Feng is a highly controversial figure who faced outrage and threats when he opened in 2007 the first gay-friendly church in conservative Malaysia, where sexual identity is a hot-button topic.
According to recent figures released by the Chinese Ministry of Health indicate that one out of three new HIV infections is gay.
The ministry said the research showed that in some south-western cities on the mainland, HIV prevalence among local men having sex with men had almost reached 20 per cent.
When the Beijing LGBT Centre screened a pre-recorded lecture on gay-themed movies last year, the venue was so packed that latecomers had to jostle for a spot on the windowsills of the rented classroom doubling as their makeshift theatre. This year, reports Time Magazine, however, a similar event attracted only a handful of people, leaving much of the same room empty. The organizers soon realized their online announcements never reached the community. Soon after, other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups reported that their posts were disappearing from Douban, ostensibly one of China’s most liberal social-networking websites. They have since banded together to boycott the site.
Gay prince to help with AIDS awareness in Jail
Manvendrasinh Gohil runs Lakshya Trust that works among gay men
Prince Manvendrasinh Gohil, who had created ripples when he had openly admitted his homosexuality, has been invited by jail authorities to create awareness on HIV and AIDS at Sabarmati Central Jail and all other jails in the state.
Gohil rose to fame in the UK after appearing on an TV show that features three princes from different cultures coming to seaside town of Brighton in search of love.
The search of acceptance and understanding in his own country has been far from easy, it is a battle, the local authority claims that there is no gay behaviour at the central jail.
Taiga Ishikawa, 36, won a seat in a Tokyo ward assembly in the Japanese capital’s local elections on Sunday. He is the first openly gay person to hold office in Japan.
Mr Ishikawa told AFP: “I hope my election victory will help our fellows nationwide to have hope for tomorrow, as many of them cannot accept themselves, feel lonely and isolated and even commit suicide.”
He also said: “As a ward assembly member, I would like to reinforce support for LGBT children in schools.”
Mr Ishikawa revealed his sexuality in his 2002 book Where Is My Boyfriend?. He said: “Many of my readers told me they were isolated and that my situation in the book was so similar to theirs.”
There is outrage both in Malaysia and internationally after it became known that a group of boys, identified as effeminate by teachers have been sent to an anti-gay camp!
The camp has been set up to correct the effeminate behaviour of a group of Muslim schoolboys. However, such a camp violates the countries own law and should be abolished, claims Malaysia’s women’s minister.
Sixty-six schoolboys identified by teachers as effeminate began counselling this week to discourage them from being gay. They are undergoing four days of religious and physical education, according to officials. The education official said the camp was meant to guide the boys back "to a proper path in life".
But the women’s minister, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, said singling out these children based on perceived feminine mannerisms was traumatising and harmful to their mental health. The camp violates the Child Act, which protects children without prejudice, she said.
Gay rights groups have also criticised the measure, saying it promotes homophobia in the Muslim-majority country where gay sex is still illegal.
State officials say that, if left unchecked, the students – aged between 13 and 17 – could end up gay or transsexual.
We should send a clear message to institutions that they have no business meddling with an individual’s identity and personal preference”
End Quote Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, Malaysia
They blame parents for encouraging boys to develop feminine traits, by dressing them up in girls’ clothing at a young age. Terengganu state’s education director, Razali Daud, said the students were invited to join the camp and were not compelled to do so. As educators, we have to do something about it before the young ones misunderstand people and reach the point of no return," he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times. Mr Razali says although homosexuals and transvestites exist in Malaysia, the authorities want to limit their number.
Homophobia is rife in the country, where gay sex is still illegal and many say they face discrimination from society as well as from government. Gay acts such as sodomy is a crime punishable by 20 years in prison.
Activists say it is appalling that educators are persecuting children for expressing their personalities and identities. The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality said "corrective boot camps" violate the rights of people who are perceived as different.
"It should be strongly opposed and challenged as it promotes homophobia and prejudice," the group said in a statement. "We should send a clear message to institutions that they have no business meddling with an individual’s identity and personal preference."
A campaigner for sexual rights, Pang Khee Teik, described the camp as outrageous and an example of homophobia. "All the students will learn from these camps is that they are expected to behave a certain way," said Mr Pang, co-founder of Seksualiti Merdeka.
"And in order to avoid further ridicule, perhaps they will learn to pretend better. In the end, we are only teaching them how to be a hypocrite."
“It’s outrageous that these boys should be subject to such a discriminatory methods and actions” Jason Shaw, a gay rights commentator and writer said today. “This is nothing short of homophobia on a grand scale, government hatred of anything even remotely or possibly gay sends out a message of hate to every citizen regardless of sexual orientation. It’s distasteful, very distasteful indeed”