TV & Radio
「ブレンダと呼ばれた少年」復刊問題 - TransNews
U.S. walks fine line in shrine fight
By Brian Knowlton International Herald Tribune
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2005
WASHINGTON The Bush administration has taken a decidedly low-key approach to the bitter controversy over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, which many Asians view as tantamount to an endorsement of the Japanese imperialism under which they once suffered.
At the shrine, the spirits of Japan's war dead - including 14 judged as war criminals - are worshiped. But while Beijing and Seoul reacted angrily to Koizumi's visit Monday, the United States was cautious.
"We would hope that countries in the region could work together to resolve their concerns over history in an amicable way and through dialogue," the State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday.
"I think that everybody understands some of the sensitivities and concerns in the region," McCormack said. "And we would just hope that those with concerns about this issue could work together with the Japanese government to resolve any of those concerns through the use of dialogue and in the spirit of friendship." He would not be drawn to say much more.
The United States stands uncomfortably in this dispute between vitally important friends and trading partners, but also not detached - because of its own wartime struggle against Japan - from the historical roots of the matter.
"We're treading a really fine line on this, and there is a debate among people in Washington about what we should do," said Derek Mitchell, a former special assistant to the U.S. defense secretary for Asian affairs. "Some people think we're sort of implicated in this by our silence, by not coming out more forcefully in principle," he said.
Sensitivities in the region in many ways remain sharper than they do in the United States.
"It is extraordinarily difficult for the United States to step in on an issue between valuable allies," said Charles Pritchard, a former special U.S. envoy for negotiations with North Korea and a former director for Asian affairs in the National Security Council. "It is a no-win situation."
"If speaking out is not the right way to go, keeping silent is not helping the relationship, particularly with the South Koreans," he said. "So I think the administration would prefer that the Japanese take a good look at this situation and try to resolve it."
But another analyst, John Tkacik, a former U.S. diplomat in China and Taiwan, said he believed that the administration was most concerned not with the past but its present vital alliance with Japan.
"I think American policy makers are looking at a far broader context," he said - an underlying interest in having a U.S.-aligned and democratic Japan in Asia, a country not unduly fearful of China.
Tkacik, a senior research fellow at the politically conservative Heritage Foundation, said that "there is a very palpable feeling among a lot of U.S. policy makers that China is basically picking its scabs on the Yasukuni shrine thing - that this doesn't need to be an issue and the Chinese are making it an issue." In his view, the shrine visits are "simply a statement that Japan continues to mourn its dead and it will not be lectured to by any other country," particularly not a Chinese Communist leadership that has not always had clean hands.
"There is no sentiment in the administration for humoring the Chinese," Tkacik said.
Mitchell agreed that the fundamental U.S. interest was in maintaining close relations with Japan - but without needlessly offending China or South Korea.
"We have a vision we're implementing of a much more active and robust U.S.-Japanese alliance in the region that is constructive and helps provide peace and stability," said Mitchell, the senior fellow for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "To the degree that Japan is not seen as constructive, as having not dealt with its past, and therefore not welcome to be involved in the region, it hurts us."
The controversy is wrapped in an older debate over how Washington and Tokyo - close allies now, bitter enemies then - should mark the end of World War II, without ignoring Japanese atrocities or the atomic bombings of Japan.
The debate periodically resurges, as in the controversy in Washington in the 1990s over how frankly and fully to portray a Smithsonian Institution display of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Koizumi's latest visit to the shrine brought a quick reaction: China on Tuesday postponed a scheduled visit by the Japanese foreign minister, Nobutaka Machimura, and South Korea's foreign minister, Ban Ki Moon, canceled a planned visit to Japan.
とても孤独な日本 - Newsweek
A Very Lonely Japan
The country's inability to come to grips with its past has long infuriated the region. But now it's starting to threaten Tokyo's once unquestioned influence.
By Christian Caryl
Andrew Wong / Getty Images
Oct. 31, 2005 issue - The Japanese tend to expect diplomatic bouquets from even the most insignificant of their foreign visitors. So imagine the audience reaction when German ex-chancellor Helmut Schmidt, invited to give a lecture in Tokyo last month, treated his hosts to an exercise in bluntness. He accused the Japanese of soft-pedaling their country's responsibility for its wartime past—and came to a devastating conclusion: "Sadly, the Japanese nation doesn't have too many genuine friends in the world outside." It was a syndrome he blamed on "the ambiguity of the Japanese public when it comes to acknowledging the conquests, the start of the Pacific war and the crimes of the past history." His listeners didn't appear to find much consolation in Schmidt's concession that his own country had committed "even worse crimes within Europe."
Small wonder, perhaps, that no Japanese media picked up on the content of the speech. But the Japanese had better get used to dire verdicts on their handling of history, because there's plenty more to come. After Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi last week paid yet another visit to Yasukuni Shrine—the Tokyo war memorial that honors 2.47 million wartime dead, including 14 class-A war criminals—his country can look forward to a deepening of the remarkable diplomatic isolation that has enveloped it in recent years. China and South Korea expressed their anger in fiercely worded statements and canceled planned diplomatic meetings in protest. Even some of Japan's erstwhile allies in Asia, Malaysia and Singapore, also registered their disapproval.
Sixty years after the end of World War II, Japan's wartime past has never mattered so much. Last week's Yasukuni visit didn't prompt ferocious street protests as previous ones had, but each such incident further cements the widespread view that Japanese expressions of regret over the war are insincere. Beyond that, Japan has territorial disputes with almost all of its neighbors, a situation unique among the leading industrialized nations; a dispute with China over drilling in the East China Sea flared just last week. And perhaps most bitter of all for Tokyo's bureaucrats is the resounding failure of Japan's recent bid to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council—an ambition that no significant Asian nation supported, despite the billions in investment and aid Tokyo has spread around the region in the last half century. "To be honest I was totally surprised," says leading diplomatic commentator Yoichi Funabashi. "It was a complete disaster."
Until recently, Japan could to a certain extent ignore the suspicion and resentment it inspired across Asia. The country was an economic powerhouse, bolstered by its alliance with the United States. But now that animosity threatens Japan's further progress, at a time when the country finds its claim to regional leadership increasingly challenged by the rising might of Beijing. In effect, the country that spent most of the 20th century aspiring to a leadership role in East Asia now finds itself virtually relegated to a corner for bad behavior. And that's the last thing the region needs at a time when there is already plenty of instability to go around, thanks to a rapidly modernizing Chinese military, a nuclear-armed North Korea and a variety of potentially explosive territorial disputes. "The wounds of war remain and haven't been healed in neighboring Asian countries," says Tomiichi Murayama, the former Japanese prime minister whose 1995 apology to the victims of Japanese wartime conquest set the gold standard for all future public expressions of remorse. "They still lack confidence in Japan."
Why is that? Hasn't the country's postwar pacifism become so deeply rooted that a resurgence of Japanese militarism is unthinkable? And hasn't Japan apologized for its wartime actions over and over again? True enough. Tokyo University scholar Sven Saaler points out that public-opinion surveys consistently show that most Japanese accept the description of their country's military campaigns from 1931 to 1945 as "wars of aggression." Meanwhile, a new museum devoted to the fate of foreign women recruited as sex slaves by the Japanese Army during the war opened in Tokyo at the beginning of August. And on the anniversary of the Pacific war's end this summer, the very same Koizumi who can't stay away from Yasukuni gave a much-noted speech reaffirming his country's readiness to acknowledge its responsibility for the war.
And yet a significant portion of the Japanese population does not agree on the precise parameters of Japan's war guilt. Koizumi's visit certainly destroys any good will occasioned by his Aug. 15 speech. For every Japanese bureaucrat or politician who expresses remorse for the war, there is another who will make an inflammatory remark. During the past year, Education Minister Nariaki Nakayama has several times lauded a revisionist history textbook that minimizes the Japanese military's role in forcible wartime prostitution. Notes Jeff Kingston, a professor at Temple University in Tokyo: "The bottom line is that there is no consensus in Japan on war responsibility. If there's no consensus on memory, you can't assume responsibility—and without responsibility, you can't move to reconciliation."
The question is why all this is flaring up now. That lack of consensus, after all, has held true for decades. But two things are different. First, a new generation of Japanese without personal memories of the war are revolting against what they see as the "masochism" of institutionalized self-reproach and U.S.-imposed pacifism. Young conservatives, including Koizumi, have vowed to transform Japan into a "normal country"—a pledge that includes pursuit of a more assertive international role for Tokyo and the revision of the pacifist Constitution to acknowledge the country's considerable armed forces. Koizumi's insistence on visiting Yasukuni reflects a growing refusal among ordinary Japanese to kowtow to foreign sensitivities.
The external environment has changed, too. Back when Japan was the region's sole economic dynamo, other countries often accepted economic aid from Tokyo in return for tacitly agreeing to avoid bringing up the war. Now that years of prosperity have bred substantial and increasingly assertive middle classes in both China and South Korea, history is returning to the agenda. In September, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan said: "We're not asking for money from the Japanese government. We have enough money. What the Korean government wants from Japan is truth and sincerity, and [a commitment] to help develop healthy relations between the two countries." What's more, both Chinese and Korean leaders have powerful domestic reasons to bash Japan—it's a surefire tool for garnering popular support.
The past few months abound in evidence that disagreements over the past can have perceptible economic and political effects. The anti-Japanese riots in China in April of this year triggered sharp falls on the Tokyo stock market. Japanese companies have been reassessing their strategies for investment in China, and many are already relocating factories to countries viewed as less politically sensitive. Japanese business leaders had lobbied Koizumi vigorously to stay away from Yasukuni, for the sake of good relations with China—a sign of how high the stakes are for them.
The continuing tensions also hobble Japan's diplomatic clout. The country's whole postwar diplomatic strategy has been about projecting soft power. Tokyo has focused much of its foreign-policy energy on issues like human rights or climate change, precisely as a way of soothing foreign qualms about Japan's economic might. And Tokyo has been a major supporter of the United Nations. Japan's campaign for a permanent spot on the U.N. Security Council was motivated partly by the fact that Tokyo contributes about 20 percent of the U.N.'s annual budget—more than four of the UNSC's five members. (Japan is second only to the United States.) Yet only three Asian countries—Afghanistan, Bhutan and the Maldives—proved willing to offer official support for the Japanese bid when a formal proposal was put forward in August. (The measure, which also envisioned seats for India, Brazil and Germany, never came to an actual vote.)
Japan's failed U.N. bid was partly due to intensive lobbying by Beijing, which happily used the history issue to blacken Japan's image. Notes Funabashi: "It all leaves China looking like it has moral superiority over Japan"—a powerful edge at a time when both countries are engaged in a struggle for political and economic superiority within Asia.
So how can Japan extricate itself from the mess? Some, predictably, are arguing that the fault lies entirely with Japan's critics. A prominent group of ex-government officials and military men, including Masahiro Sakamoto, vice president of the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, assert that Japan should respond to China by being tougher diplomatically. They point out that the Chinese Communist Party suffers from much historical amnesia itself. The Japanese Foreign Ministry, for its part, has been shifting the emphasis to public diplomacy. It recently started a new Internet offensive designed to promote a positive Japanese image. The effort will include posting copies of original Japanese Foreign Ministry documents on the site as a way of explaining policy.
Neither of those approaches seems designed to foster what is most needed: a broader spirit of reconciliation and historical awareness. Andrew Horvat of the International Center for the Study of Historical Reconciliation at Tokyo Keizai University points out that one reason why Germans succeeded so well at reconciling with their neighbors after the war was because they made lots of nongovernmental contacts with other Europeans. The cross-border contacts ranged from church and civic groups to trade unions and academic institutions. In Japan, by contrast, restrictive legislation on nonprofit organizations (including tough rules on tax-exempt status) has stunted the growth of civil organizations that might bond with counterparts abroad. "Communication is crucial," says Wang Jin, a 30-year-old Chinese woman studying for her M.B.A. at Waseda University in Tokyo. "If Chinese people have a chance to come here [to Japan], they [might] change their opinions." Wang says she spends much of her time correcting misperceptions about Japan and China to angry friends in both countries. "It's very sad," she says. "I want to have Japan and China be like Germany and France. They have a good relationship. They became stronger even though they had a bad experience."
As Saaler of Tokyo University points out, one reason that Japan hasn't come to terms with Asian countries is that it's long been a staunch ally of the United States. With a superpower as a geopolitical partner, Japan didn't really feel the need to reach out. Back in the 1950s, '60s and '70s none of the other Asian countries mattered economically—now Japan has very intimate economic relations with all of them. China recently surpassed the United States as Japan's top trade partner.
A planned east Asian summit in Kuala Lumpur this December might help forge a new spirit of cooperation. The confab is aimed at laying the groundwork for a new East Asian Community loosely modeled on the European Union. Japan has been pushing the idea of stronger Asian integration for years, and with security anxieties growing apace, the time might be ripe for a new regional alignment. It would be unfortunate if Tokyo's desire to shape that future were to be derailed by its inability to come to grips with its past.
With Hideko Takayama and Kay Itoi in Tokyo
© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.
© 2005 MSNBC.com
Transsexual insists on going to women's jail
'It's a matter of principle,' says woman after court treats her as still being a man
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday October 23, 2005
Denise Martin is fighting for the right to go to jail - as long as it's a women's prison. Martin, one of Ireland's first transsexuals who had a full sex-change operation 22 years ago, faces a prison sentence next month after refusing to pay a fine over a breach of the peace offence in her home town of Larne.
The slender, 45-year-old bleached blonde could find herself in the all-male top-security Maghaberry jail outside Belfast.
'It's a matter of principle,' she said in between sips of latte inside a hotel overlooking a windswept North Antrim coast on Friday.
'At my first hearing in Larne last month the court referred to me as "Mr Martin" or "he", because on my birth certificate I'm still Douglas Martin. But as you can see by looking at me, I haven't been Douglas for over 20 years.
'On my British passport it states that I'm Denise, and that's who I have been for all these years. But if the next court appearance in Ballymena treats me like a man, then I'm in danger of going to an all-male prison.'
What began as a 'cat fight' between Denise and a middle-aged transvestite in Larne last April may end up in the European Court of Human Rights. If Martin refuses to pay the fine at her next court appearance on 7 November, she risks a custodial sentence.
'My solicitor told me I would have 28 days to appeal, and in that period I would go to a higher court to see if they can change my status to that of a woman. I don't believe I did anything wrong, but I won't pay and am prepared to go to jail, as long as it's a woman's jail.
'If they refuse, I have instructed my solicitor to fight this all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. I didn't go through years of psychiatric counselling, a painful operation and the entire trauma through my life to let the courts deny who I am today.
'I don't care if they fine me £30 or £3,000, I won't pay and I won't rest until they recognise me as Denise.'
The transsexual who says she is a normal heterosexual woman has other reasons to challenge the court's definition of her sexuality.
'My partner, who prefers to maintain his privacy, and I want to get married next year. I'm fighting this case partly for him as well. The law, or at least the courts, still sees me as a man and I don't want my partner being branded as someone who has married a man. He met me as a fully functioning woman, not as Douglas but as Denise. This fight is as important for him as it is for me.'
After the court cases and the marriage, the couple are planning to move to London. Asked how her family felt about her going public, Martin said: 'Obviously back in the early days there was a lot of hurt and confusion. But they have finally accepted me as Denise, and they know because I am a very cocksure person that I speak my mind and don't let people walk all over me.'
Aside from challenging the legal system, Martin will soon pose a dilemma for her local Anglican church where she wants to marry. 'I'm a very religious person,' she says, fiddling with a holy medal on a chain around her neck, 'It's extremely important for me to have my marriage blessed in the church as well as recognised in law.'
Martin claims that she was born as a woman trapped inside a man's body: 'I didn't have a sex change, I had a sex realignment. All the surgeons did was to correct my anatomy.
'I have been on a long, painful journey to arrive at the woman I am today. It's for that reason mainly that I will not allow the law to ignore who I now am.'
A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission said it would be monitoring Martin's case and would be happy to speak with her if and when her challenge reaches the European court.
Sexual minorities in socially conservative Northern Ireland have used the European courts before to challenge domestic law. In the early 1980s gay rights activist Jeff Dudgeon won his case in Europe against the British government over the criminalisation of homosexuality in the north of Ireland.
BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL
Bad memory in Japan
October 23, 2005
IT IS not always fair, but the actions of democratic leaders are often taken as a reflection of the people they represent. This is the case each time Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visits the Yasukuni Shrine to Japanese war dead, as he did for the fifth year last week, angering Japan's Asian neighbors and shaming those Japanese who are willing to acknowledge the World War II crimes of the Japanese empire.
Koizumi's subtle stylistic alterations of this year's visit to the shrine, where 14 Class A convicted Japanese war criminals lie buried, are not likely to make the symbolism of his gesture any less offensive to Koreans and Chinese, whose memories of Japanese cruelty have been passed down from one generation to the next.
In previous visits, he had worn either morning dress or traditional Japanese formal attire. This time, to imply he was honoring the spirits of the war dead as a private citizen and not in his official role as head of government, Koizumi arrived in a simple gray suit. In those earlier visits, he signed the visitors' book ''Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi," but this time he declined even to sign the book. On Monday he also broke from his past practice by not observing the strict Shinto style of worship and by not paying for wreath-laying and sacred Shinto tree branches.
These nuanced signals may have meant something to Japanese who do not want Koizumi to kowtow to right-wing nationalists in his own Liberal Democratic Party, but outside Japan, Koizumi's refinements of style were meaningless. Particularly since top leaders in South Korea and China had repeatedly asked Koizumi to cease paying tribute to what they regard as a blatant symbol of Japanese militarism, pretending it was a private visit free of any political significance seemed only to exacerbate the offense to Japan's neighbors.
China's ambassador to Japan said, ''Koizumi must shoulder the historical responsibility for damaging Sino-Japanese relations" and called the visit to the shrine a ''serious provocation." South Korea's foreign minister said, ''We strongly protest the visit to Yasukuni Shrine despite our request" and called Koizumi's visits to the shrine ''the biggest stumbling block to South Korea-Japan relations."
With a summit meeting coming up in November of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the first East Asia Summit scheduled in December, and with grave issues such as avian flu, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and conflicts over energy resources requiring regional cooperation, Koizumi's obtuse refusal to respect the feelings of other Asians is not merely inopportune; it paints the Japanese people, however unfairly, as unwilling to accept the truth of their neighbors' historical experience.
Court: Underage sex laws can't be harsher on gays
Saturday, October 22, 2005 Posted: 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
• Kansas Judicial Branch
TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) -- The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday unanimously struck down a state law that punished underage sex more severely if it involved homosexual acts.
The court said "moral disapproval" of such conduct is not enough to justify the different treatment.
In a case closely watched by national groups on all sides of the gay rights debate, the high court said the law "suggests animus toward teenagers who engage in homosexual sex."
Gay rights groups praised the ruling, while conservatives bitterly complained that the court intruded on the Legislature's authority to make the laws.
The case involved an 18-year-old man, Matthew R. Limon, who was found guilty in 2000 of performing a sex act on a 14-year-old boy and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Had one of them been a girl, state law would have dictated a maximum sentence of 15 months.
The high court ordered that Limon be resentenced as if the law treated illegal gay sex and illegal straight sex the same. He has already served more than five years.
Limon's lawyer, James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, said: "We are very happy that Matthew will soon be getting out of prison. We are sorry there is no way to make up for the extra four years he spent in prison simply because he is gay."
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline said in a statement that he does not plan to appeal.
Landmark Texas decision cited
A lower court had ruled that the state could justify the harsher punishment as a way of protecting children's traditional development, fighting disease or strengthening traditional values. But the Supreme Court said the law was too broad to meet those goals.
"The statute inflicts immediate, continuing and real injuries that outrun and belie any legitimate justification that may be claimed for it," Justice Marla Luckert wrote for the court. "Moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate state interest."
The Kansas court also cited the landmark 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas law against gay sodomy.
Limon and the other boy, identified only as M.A.R., lived at a group home for the developmentally disabled. Limon's attorneys described their relationship as consensual and suggested that they were adolescents experimenting with sex.
Kline's office described Limon as a predator with two previous such offenses on his record. Kline contended that such a behavior pattern warranted a tough sentence and that courts should leave sentencing policy to the Legislature.
Kansas law prohibits any sexual activity involving a person under 16.
However, the state's 1999 "Romeo and Juliet" law specifies short prison sentences or probation for sexual activity when an offender is under 19 and the age difference between participants is less than four years -- but only for opposite-sex encounters.
Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said the Texas decision and Friday's ruling "shore up the principle that gay people are entitled to equal protection."
"But no one's quite sure how firm that foundation is," he said.
Mathew Staver, attorney for the conservative Orlando, Florida-based Liberty Counsel, said the different treatment was justified by the state's interest in protecting children and families. He also said the court does not have the right to rewrite the statute.
"That's a legislative function," he said. "This is clearly a sign of an activist court system."
Patricia Logue, a senior counsel for the gay rights organization Lambda Legal, said she hopes the decision will slow efforts in various states to enact legislation targeting gays.
"A lot of the reasoning used here by the state comes up again and again," she said. "What the court is saying is, `If you've got a better reason, you would have told us by now. The ones you've come up with are not good enough, and they amount to not liking gay people."'
Battle lines drawn after Kansas gay-sex ruling
Sat Oct 22, 2005 05:34 PM ET
By Ros Krasny
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Gay activists applauded a Kansas Supreme Court decision throwing out a measure that allowed vastly harsher punishment for older teenagers who have consensual sex with underage teens of the same gender.
But conservatives cast the ruling as a victory for supporters of a creeping gay-rights agenda.
"This is legislating from the bench that does not reflect the rule of the citizenry," Jerry Johnston, pastor of the First Family Church in Overland Park, Kansas, told Reuters on Saturday.
The state's top court ruled 6-0 on Friday that different penalties for underage homosexual and heterosexual sex violate the U.S. Constitution's clause barring states from denying people equal protection of the laws.
Matthew Limon has served more than five years of a 17-year prison sentence for criminal sodomy after performing a consensual oral sex act on a 14-year-old boy in 2000, when he was 18.
Had the boy been a girl, Limon would have faced a maximum of just 15 months behind bars under a so-called "Romeo and Juliet" law that allows lighter punishment for teenagers 18 or younger who have sex with 14- and 15-year-olds of the opposite sex.
It is illegal to have sex with anyone under age 16 in Kansas.
A lower court had ruled that the state could justify the harsher punishment for gay sex as a way of fighting disease or strengthening traditional values.
"The only reason for writing into law different penalties for different people is that some people disapprove of gay sex," said Matt Coles, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, which handled Limon's appeal.
Kansas Justice Marla Luckert wrote in the ruling that "moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate governmental interest."
The losing attorney, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, said he had no plans to appeal the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court found the Kansas statute violated the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling, Lawrence vs. Texas, that overturned state sodomy laws making it a crime for gays to have consensual sex in their own bedrooms.
It was the first time the Lawrence case, seen as a milestone for gay rights, has been translated into a favorable ruling in the lower courts.
Kansas Rep. Lance Kinzer, a Republican, said he feared the ruling could be used as a basis to challenge the ban on same-sex marriage passed in Kansas in April.
"If I was a proponent of same-sex marriage in Kansas, I would be extremely encouraged," Kinzer said.
Limon, who suffers from a mild form of mental retardation, was a student at a state residential school for developmentally disabled youth in 2000. That year, he was convicted of having oral sex with a fellow student who was one month short of his 15th birthday.
The ACLU said it hoped to quickly obtain Limon's release.
"He has long since paid his debt to society, and we're thrilled that he will be going home to his family soon," said Lisa Brunner of the ACLU.
The New York Times
October 22, 2005
Kansas Law on Gay Sex by Teenagers Is Overturned
By ADAM LIPTAK
Matthew R. Limon had just turned 18 when he had consensual oral sex with a boy just shy of 15 at a Kansas school in 2000. He was convicted of criminal sodomy and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Had the sex been heterosexual, the maximum penalty would have been 15 months.
Yesterday, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the starkly different penalties violated the federal Constitution's equal protection clause. It said the state's "Romeo and Juliet" statute, which limits the punishment that can be imposed on older teenagers who have sex with younger ones, but only if they are of the opposite sex, must also apply to teenagers who engage in homosexual sex.
Mr. Limon will soon be released, his lawyer, James D. Esseks, said. "He's spent an extra four years and five months in jail only because he's gay," said Mr. Esseks, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union.
In 2003, in a decision called Lawrence v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that made gay sex between adults a crime. But a Kansas appeals court ruled last year that the Lawrence decision did not affect Mr. Limon's case, reasoning that it did not involve minors and involved, for the most part, privacy rights rather than equal protection.
The two appeals judges in the majority offered various justifications for the differing punishments.
One judge, Henry W. Green Jr., said the Kansas law promoted "traditional sexual mores," "the traditional sexual development of children," marriage, procreation and parental responsibility. Judge Green added that the law helped protect minors from sexually transmitted diseases, which he said were more generally associated with homosexual than with heterosexual activity.
A second appeals court judge, Tom Malone, endorsed only the final rationale, though he called it tenuous. A dissenting judge, G. Joseph Pierron Jr., wrote that "this blatantly discriminatory sentencing provision does not live up to American standards of equal justice."
In its decision yesterday, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the Lawrence case required reversal of the lower-court decision in Kansas. The State Supreme Court rejected all justifications offered by the appeals court. "The moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate state interest," Justice Marla J. Luckert wrote for the unanimous court.
Justice Luckert rejected the argument that homosexual sex is more likely to transmit diseases.
"The Romeo-and-Juliet statute is overinclusive because it increases penalties for sexual relations which are unlikely to transmit H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases," Justice Luckert said, referring to the oral sex in the Limon case and sex involving two women. "Simultaneously," she continued, "the provision is underinclusive because it lowers the penalty for heterosexuals engaging in high-risk activities," notably anal sex.
The fit between the law and the rationales offered for it is so poor, she concluded, that it violates the Constitution's equal protection clause.
In a brief filed in the case, Phill Kline, the Kansas attorney general, said a ruling in Mr. Limon's favor would "begin a toppling of dominoes which is likely to end in the Kansas marriage law on the scrap heap."
"Sexual desires rather than communal and historical sensitivities would then define the marital relationship," Mr. Kline added, "allowing such combinations as three-party marriages, incestuous marriages, child brides and other less-than-desirable couplings."
Mr. Esseks called the argument "patently ridiculous," saying, "Their premise seems to be that gay people have to stay in prison, be made invisible and not have any degree of rights or else gay people will be able to get married."
In a statement issued yesterday, Mr. Kline was more conciliatory. He said that he had voted against the law as a state legislator, "as I did not support the public policy of providing a lengthier sentence for same-sex exploitation as contrasted with opposite-sex exploitation." He added that his office would probably not appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
Bias Ruled in Law On Same-Sex Rape
Court Cites Inequities in Kansas Statute
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 22, 2005; A03
The Kansas Supreme Court yesterday struck down a state law that penalized same-sex statutory rapes by 18-year-olds much more harshly than heterosexual cases, ruling that the law unconstitutionally discriminated against gays.
In a 6 to 0 opinion, the court said its decision was required by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas , a landmark victory for gay rights that abolished all state laws criminalizing sodomy between consenting adults.
Yesterday's ruling was the first time after several attempts that gay rights advocates had managed to translate their Lawrence victory into a favorable ruling on another issue in the lower courts. In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court established same-sex marriage, based on the state's constitution, not Lawrence.
Under the logic of the Kansas ruling, "not only this law but a lot of other laws that treat gay people badly would fall," said James D. Esseks, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union's Gay and Lesbian Rights Project.
Esseks acknowledged, however, that only one other state, Texas, has a statutory rape law like Kansas's. There are no court challenges pending in Texas. The Kansas ruling would not apply in another state.
Esseks argued the case on behalf of Matthew Limon, who will be released after serving five years of a 17-year sentence under the Kansas law. His sentence would have been 15 months at most if he had been convicted of a heterosexual act.
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline (R) said the state probably would not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, noting that, as a state legislator, he had voted against the disputed provision. In a prepared statement, he said that "it appears the Court has limited its holding," preserving the state's option to criminalize conduct like Limon's even if the sentence must be the same.
Still, at a time when the role of the courts in social issues is at the heart of debate over President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, the ruling was likely to raise conservative concerns.
"The court acted like a legislature when it attempted to rewrite the statute," said Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, a conservative litigation organization that supported Kansas in the case.
In 2000, when Limon was 18 and a student at a state residential school for mentally disabled youth, he was convicted of having oral sex with a fellow student who was one month shy of his 15th birthday.
There was no claim the sex was coerced. Kansas, like many other states, criminalizes voluntary sex between adults and minors. But in 1999 it enacted a "Romeo and Juliet" law that set a lower penalty for a statutory rape involving an 18-year-old having sex with a 14- or 15-year-old. The lighter punishment applied only to "members of the opposite sex."
Limon appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming unconstitutional discrimination. The court held the case until it had decided Lawrence , then sent the issue back to the Kansas courts with instructions to review it in light of the new precedent.
Kansas's lower appeals court once again upheld the law, finding it constitutional because it was connected to the state's interests in protecting the normal sexual development of children and preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
But the Kansas Supreme Court said that, under Lawrence , Kansas may not use its laws to express "moral disapproval" of homosexuality -- denying any "rational basis" for the Kansas law's distinction between homosexual and heterosexual acts.
"Neither the court of appeals nor the state cites any scientific research or other evidence justifying the position that homosexual sexual activity is more harmful to minors than adults," the court said.
同性愛犯罪への厳罰判決を無効と判断―カンザス州最高裁 (世界日報 2005/10/22)
ＨＩＶ感染者、1000万人の恐れも・中国、2010年に (共同 2005/10/22)
China warns HIV cases could exceed 10 mln by 2010
Mon Oct 24, 1:45 AM ET Reuters
China, once accused of being slow to acknowledge the threat of AIDS, could have as many as 10 million HIV carriers in five years if no effective preventive measures are taken, state media said on Monday, echoing a grim UN warning.
China says it has 840,000 HIV-AIDS cases among its 1.3 billion population, but experts say at least a million poor farmers were infected in botched blood-selling schemes in the central province of Henan alone.
"If the preventive measures are slack, the number of people infected by HIV could reach 10 million by 2010," Dai Zhicheng, director of the Health Ministry's Committee of AIDS Experts, was quoted by the Xinhua Daily Telegraph as saying.
Dai said the number could be kept under 1.5 million if the right steps are taken and there are sufficient funds.
The United Nations has also said the number could rise to 10 million by the end of this decade if the epidemic is not treated seriously.
After initial reluctance to even talk about AIDS, China has poured millions of dollars into public awareness campaigns and providing free antiretroviral treatment.
State leaders have also made headlines shaking hands and chatting with AIDS patients, trying to remove the social stigma attached to the disease.
But public fear and ignorance remain strong and the government continues to be suspicious of volunteers and non-governmental organizations trying to help spread AIDS awareness.
Increasing social mobility and 25 years of economic reforms have also added extra difficulties -- 120 million of the rural population have swarmed into cities looking for work and drug abuse and prostitution have flourished.