TV & Radio
来年のテーマは「国民楽派の音楽」 (公式レポート 2006/05/06)
Dispatches from the gender battlefield
Mainichi Daily News 2006/05/06
In 2003, Miyakonojo City in Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu, became the first municipality to recognize marriage between individuals of the same sex (or people of bisexual orientation). Citizens, businesses and educators were also obliged to end discriminatory treatment based on "sexual preferences." But after the defeat of Tatsuya Iwahashi in the city's mayoral election the following year, people began raising their voices in opposition. The controversy became moot when, in 2006, Miyakonojo merged with four surrounding towns and the law was dropped from the books.
Kuwana City in Mie Prefecture, meanwhile, might be home to the most extreme ordinance of all. Passed by the city assembly in 2002, it obliged businesses "at the earliest opportunity" to adopt a gender balance of employees; pay them equal wages; maintain an equal ratio of male-to-female managers; and apply the principle of "gender free" to all aspects of education and learning in the city's schools. It also prohibited "sexist" language. Like Miyakonojo, it was repealed earlier this year due to a merger between several municipalities.
The above instances, appearing in a series of articles in Sapio (5/10) under the headline "Gender free on the rampage," underscores a seldom-reported aspect of contemporary Japan: efforts by feminists and others to re-orient people's perceptions toward gender equality, and the backlash it generates among those who say it is impractical, a horrendous waste of money -- 10 trillion yen by one reckoning -- and an absurd affront to millennia of Japanese tradition.
Kenzo Yoneda, 58, a former cabinet vice-minister and currently professor at Teikyo Heisei University, denounces the "Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society," which was passed by the National Diet in 1999, during the tenure of the late prime minister Keizo Obuchi.
The looming "White Cultural Revolution" -- a euphemism for feminist-inspired rules and regulations -- is a threat to Japan's established order, warns Yoneda. Indeed, the social anarchy the new law is threatening to unleash, he suggests, evokes memories of post-revolutionary Russia under the Bolsheviks; Cambodia under Pol Pot's homicidal Khmer Rouge; or perhaps China, when the Red Guards ran rampant during its "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution."
Yoneda raises this example: The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had arranged, via an affiliated organization, to distribute a sex education pamphlet, "The Love & Body Book," to middle schools around the country.
The book contained the following passage: "To give birth or not give birth. To make a baby or not make one... the decision is entirely mine."
This "freedom to give birth," mutters Yoneda, "reflects blind compliance with the tenets of feminism, in accordance with the abovementioned Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society."
Yoneda issued an instruction to an official for the books to be withdrawn from the schools, but his order was initially refused. He finally got his way by going over the official's head to vice-minister Kamoshita of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Citing another example, Yoneda writes that Chiba Prefecture, in an awkward attempt to comply with the Basic Law, passed an ordinance that obliges companies to make sure a requisite ratio of males to females are hired. But for construction firms in the prefecture, whose work forces are overwhelmingly male, such a law is impractical. Their solution was simple: they placed "phantom women" on the employee rolls.
Wacky examples of the law's application are everywhere, even in unisex posters at rail stations warning against groping on trains. "It's strange to always portray women as victims of gropers," was its stated rationale.
Well, counters Yoneda, it's certainly possible that a gent might be on the receiving end of a friendly fondle from a fellow commuter. But only in the rarest of cases. Applying the gender equality law in such an extreme case, he argues, is "totally detached from reality."
"This is a horrible law," Yoneda tells Sapio. "Unless it is repealed outright, or revised, its continued existence portends the imminent demise of Japan as a nation."
(By Masuo Kamiyama, People's Pick contributor)
May 6, 2006
モーツァルト２５０奏でるオーストリア (日本経済 2006/05/01-06夕刊)
updated by 2006-05-05
Fry enters Liberal leadership race
Last Updated Thu, 04 May 2006 18:11:36 EDT
Liberal MP Hedy Fry has decided to enter the leadership race to replace Paul Martin as head of the federal party.
"This great Liberal party is in need of renewal," the Vancouver MP said Thursday as she announced her candidacy.
She is the third woman and the 11th candidate to join the race.
Fry, who was elected in 1993, joins MP Carolyn Bennett and Toronto lawyer Martha Hall Findlay as the other two women who have so far launched a leadership bid.
"I never undertake a challenge unless I expect to win," said Fry, a physician and a former president of the B.C. Medical Association.
Fry has held onto her Vancouver Centre riding since unseating then Tory prime minister Kim Campbell.
She has served as secretary of state for multiculturalism, but gained notoriety when she declared in the House of Commons in 2001 that cross burnings were taking place in Prince George, B.C.
"We can just go to British Columbia, in Prince George, where crosses are being burned on lawns as we speak," she said then.
She later apologized for the remarks amid opposition calls for her resignation. Fry said she had been given incorrect information.
The following year she was dropped from cabinet during a shuffle.
When asked about that incident at her announcement on Thursday, she said she named the wrong town, and that she learned a tremendous amount from the experience. She also said that most people know there is more to her than that single issue.
The Liberal leadership convention will be held in Montreal in early December.
Others who might enter the race include former cabinet minister John McCallum, former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, and Ontario MP Ruby Dhalla.
Hedy Fry declares intention to run for Liberal leadership
CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, May 04, 2006
VANCOUVER - Maverick MP Hedy Fry officially joined the federal Liberal leadership race Thursday, saying the key to her party’s future is returning to its grassroots and reconnecting with its membership.
Fry, who continues to be dogged by a controversial and erroneous comment she made in 2001 in which she said racists were burning crosses in Prince George, B.C., also used the occasion Thursday to attack the Conservative government’s child-care plan, which benefits stay-at-home parents.
"Early childhood eduction, Mr. Harper, is not about parents, it’s about their children. It is an investment in our future. Our youth deserve more."
Fry, who was elected to Parliament in 1993 by defeating then Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell in Vancouver Centre, added the Liberal party is in desperate need of renewal.
"I’m a proud Liberal and a proud Canadian, but we all know that any organization that does not renew itself risks becoming anachronistic ...," said Fry, who has won re-election in the last four elections.
Fry is the 11th candidate for the leadership of the Liberal party. Also running are: MP Michael Ignatieff, former Ontario premier Bob Rae, former cabinet minister Stephane Dion, former parliamentary secretary Maurizio Bevilacqua, former cabinet minister Ken Dryden, former cabinet minister Joe Volpe, lawyer Martha Hall Findlay, former Ontario cabinet minister Gerard Kennedy, former cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett and former cabinet minister Scott Brison.
Ballot to ban gay marriage debated
By Jonathan Saltzman, Boston Globe Staff | May 5, 2006
In a spirited debate that touched on topics ranging from slavery to the Progressive Era in American politics, supporters of same-sex marriage yesterday urged the state's highest court to disqualify a controversial ballot question to ban gay matrimony starting in 2008.
A lawyer for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders argued before the Supreme Judicial Court that Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, in approving the ballot question, flouted a provision in the state constitution that blocks citizen-generated questions seeking the ''reversal of a judicial decision." The SJC legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts in November 2003.
The provision clearly meant that ''the people shouldn't be able to directly attack an SJC decision," said Gary D. Buseck, legal director at GLAD. ''They shouldn't be able to have a referendum on that decision." The provision was passed at the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1917-1918, which authorized ballot questions.
But Peter Sacks, the lawyer for Reilly's office who wrote the September decision certifying the ballot question, countered that the provision dealt with attempts during the Progressive Era a century ago to overturn unpopular court rulings by going directly to voters. That is different, he said, from the proposed gay marriage ban, which would change the constitution itself by defining marriage as strictly the union of a man and a woman. The drafters at the Constitutional Convention were ''very clear that the people should be the masters of their own constitution," Sacks said.
The arguments before the court dealt with complicated and arcane constitutional questions. But the court's ruling, which Buseck said may come in four to six weeks, could have profound implications for Massachusetts politicians as well as for citizens on both sides of the gay marriage debate.
A spokeswoman for Reilly, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, e-mailed news outlets after the arguments to say his decision to certify the ballot question was ''based solely on the constitution." Although Reilly personally opposes the ban, ''we are confident that letting this question proceed was the proper legal decision," Meredith Baumann, Reilly's press secretary, said in the statement. Nonetheless, one of his Democratic rivals, Deval L. Patrick, criticized Reilly for defending the legality of the ballot question and said the SJC ''got it right" when it legalized gay marriage.
Since Reilly's office certified the ballot question, about 123,000 registered voters signed petitions to support it, breaking the record for the most signatures certified in such a ballot campaign, according to the Massachusetts Family Institute, which spearheaded the campaign. The question must get the backing of at least 50 lawmakers in two successive legislative sessions before it can appear on the November 2008 ballot. If the measure passed, it would not undo same-sex marriages that have occurred since May, 17, 2004, as a result of the high court's landmark decision. But it would halt further same-sex marriages.
Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iraqi police 'killed 14-year-old boy for being homosexual'
By Jerome Taylor
Published: 05 May 2006
Human rights groups have condemned the "barbaric" murder of a 14-year-old boy, who, according to witnesses, was shot on his doorstep by Iraqi police for the apparent crime of being gay.
Ahmed Khalil was shot at point-blank range after being accosted by men in police uniforms, according to his neighbours in the al-Dura area of Baghdad.
Campaign groups have warned of a surge in homophobic killings by state security services and religious militias following an anti-gay and anti-lesbian fatwa issued by Iraq's most prominent Shia leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Ali Hili, the co-ordinator of a group of exiled Iraqi gay men who monitor homophobic attacks inside Iraq, said the fatwa had instigated a "witch-hunt of lesbian and gay Iraqis, including violent beatings, kidnappings and assassinations".
"Young Ahmed was a victim of poverty," he said. "He was summarily executed, apparently by fundamentalist elements in the Iraqi police."
Neighbours in al-Dura district say Ahmed's father was arrested and interrogated two days before his son's murder by police who demanded to know about Ahmed's sexual activities. It is believed Ahmed slept with men for money to support his poverty-stricken family, who have fled the area fearing further reprisals.
The killing of Ahmed is one of a series of alleged homophobic murders. There is mounting evidence that fundamentalists have infiltrated government security forces to commit homophobic murders while wearing police uniforms.
Human rights groups are particularly concerned that the Sadr and Badr militias, both Shia, have stepped up their attacks on the gay community after a string of religious rulings, since the US-led invasion, calling for the eradication of homosexuals.
Grand Ayatollah Sistani recently issued a fatwa on his website calling for the execution of gays in the "worst, most severe way".
The powerful Badr militia acts as the military wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which counts Ayatollah Sistani as its spiritual leader. Another fatwa from the late and much revered Ayatollah Abul Qassim Khoei allows followers to kill gays "with a sword, or burn him alive, or tie his hands and feet and hurl him down from a high place".
Mr Hili said: "According to our contacts in Baghdad, the Iraqi police have been heavily infiltrated by the Shia paramilitary Badr Corps."
Mr Hili, whose Abu Nawas group has close links with clandestine gay activists inside Iraq, said US coalition forces are unwilling to try and tackle the rising tide of homophobic attacks. "They just don't want to upset the Iraqi government by bringing up the taboo of homosexuality even though homophobic murders have intensified," he said.
A number of public homophobic murders by the Badr militia have terrified Iraq's gay community. Last September, Hayder Faiek, a transsexual, was burnt to death by Badr militias in the main street of Baghdad's al-Karada district. In January, suspected militants shot another gay man in the back of the head.
The US State Department has yet to document the surge in its annual human rights reports. Iraq's neighbours, however, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are often criticised for their persecution of gays.
Darla Jordan, from the US State Department said: "The US government continues to work closely with our Iraqi partners to ensure the protection of human rights and the safety of all Iraqi citizens."
Theo Rigby for The New York Times
The Right Rev. William E. Swing is retiring as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. His successor is to be elected Saturday.
The New York Times
May 5, 2006
Episcopalians Divide Again Over Electing Gay Bishop
By NEELA BANERJEE
SAN FRANCISCO, May 4 — The Episcopal Church's diocese of California will elect a new bishop on Saturday, the first such vote here in 27 years.
The election would normally play out as a decidedly local event, but many from the broader Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion to which it belongs are focused on it because three of the seven candidates are openly gay or lesbian ministers in long-term relationships.
Three years ago, when the Episcopal Church consecrated the Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, making him the first openly gay bishop in the church's history, it set off a bitter fight in the denomination about homosexuality that threatened to rend the church and the worldwide communion.
If the diocese of California elects a gay bishop, experts on the church said, the denomination could edge even closer to the point of fracture.
"It has enormous and possibly decisive consequences," said the Very Rev. Paul F. M. Zahl, dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa., and a leading conservative in the church. "You almost can't exaggerate the importance it would have if they elected a partnered gay person as a bishop."
The Rev. Ian T. Douglas, professor of world Christianity at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., said: "If, in fact, California elected an out gay and lesbian person living in a lifelong relationship, it would become in some measure a referendum on the Episcopal Church's place in the Anglican Communion."
Clergy members and lay delegates from congregations voting on Saturday, especially those from parishes that support full inclusion of gays and lesbians, said they planned to choose the best candidate, regardless of sexual orientation.
But one senior minister in the diocese, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the topic, said, "The average parishioner in the diocese of California is very aware that voting for a gay bishop would split apart the Anglican Communion at a time when dialogue has started."
The debate over homosexuality has become divisive for the Protestant mainline churches, and it has begun to emerge in Catholic and black Protestant denominations, too.
Last year, the United Methodist Church defrocked a lesbian minister in Pennsylvania. Last fall, the Vatican issued a letter prohibiting the ordination of men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies." This year, black gay activists and clergy members started a campaign to combat what they said was widespread homophobia in black churches.
The Episcopal Church is a small but rich and powerful member of the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members, the second-largest church body in the world, and is presided over by the archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop Robinson's consecration drew a virulent response from primates of fast-growing Anglican provinces in the developing world, where homosexuality is taboo. Many in Africa, Asia and Latin America have curtailed their interaction with the American church. A few traditionalist congregations in this country have placed themselves under the oversight of foreign bishops.
To prevent a schism over homosexuality, a commission appointed by the archbishop of Canterbury asked the Episcopal Church in 2004 to place a moratorium on the election of gay bishops. More recently, a special commission of the Episcopal Church proposed that dioceses exercise "very considerable caution" before electing someone whose lifestyle "presents a challenge to the wider church," commonly interpreted to mean an openly gay or lesbian bishop.
Against this tense backdrop, the Right Rev. William E. Swing decided in late 2004 to retire this summer around his 70th birthday after serving for nearly a generation as the bishop of California, a diocese that includes 82 parishes in San Francisco, Oakland and five nearby counties.
A diocesan search committee identified five candidates, and they grew to seven when two local ministers petitioned to be included. The committee did not exclude qualified candidates because of sexual orientation.
The candidates are the Right Rev. Mark H. Andrus of the diocese of Alabama; the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe of the diocese of California; the Rev. Jane Gould of Lynn, Mass; the Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago; the Rev. Donald Schell of San Francisco; the Rev. Canon Eugene T. Sutton of Washington, D.C.; and the Very Rev. Robert V. Taylor of Seattle. Ms. Perry, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Barlowe are openly gay clergy members in long-term relationships.
Through a spokesman, the candidates declined to be interviewed.
Episcopalians here have responded to the search for a bishop with excitement and widespread involvement, even those parishioners who will not be voting.
About 2,000 people from a diocese of about 10,000 active members attended long meetings with the candidates as they traveled through the area two weeks ago, said the Rev. Rosa Lee Harden of Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in San Francisco. People asked the candidates about their commitment to social justice, evangelism, immigrant rights and inclusion not just of gays but of the many ethnic groups starting to fill the pews here, those who went to the meetings said. The candidates' sexual orientation was not an issue.
Still, many people asked how the new bishop would bring about reconciliation with parts of the church that are not as inclusive of gays, said the Rev. Anna Lange-Soto, vicar of El Buen Pastor in Redwood City. "It is an issue," Ms. Lange-Soto said, "but on the other hand, it isn't consuming us."
Sarah Lawton, a lay delegate from St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in San Francisco, said that other delegates and clergy she had spoken to were "serene" about the vote, confident that any of the candidates would make a good bishop.
But some lay delegates and clergy here have voiced frustration that Episcopalians outside their diocese have made sexual orientation, rather than a candidate's fitness for the job, the defining issue.
"I think we're tired of the hype that is being generated by a vocal minority in the church," said the Rev. Katherine M. Lehman of St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Menlo Park. She added, "If we are called to elect a qualified nominee who happens to be gay, we will do that based on our discernment of the process and the Holy Spirit."
Some of the frustration is aimed at liberal Episcopalians who say now may be too fragile a time to elect a gay man or a lesbian. The church's General Convention in June would have to confirm the new bishop, and people here are aware that if that the new bishop is gay, the convention may reject the choice, a rare occurrence in a denomination that places great trust in the decisions of its dioceses.
"My No. 1 directive as a bishop is the unity of church, because schism is a greater sin than heresy," said Bishop Kirk S. Smith of the diocese of Arizona, who backs full inclusion of gays in the church. "I think everyone will breathe a sigh of relief if it's not a gay candidate, and that's sad."
In Bay Area, Diocese May Elect Gay Bishop
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 6, 2006; Page A04
Episcopalians in San Francisco say it's no big deal. They have had openly gay clergy for more than 30 years. So when they elect a new bishop today, they say, the winner's sexuality will not be the main issue -- even if it could cause a schism in the already strained relations between U.S. Episcopalians and a majority of their co-religionists around the world.
"This election is not going to be decided around issues of human sexuality," said the Rev. John Kirkley, rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco and president of Oasis/California, a ministry to gay Episcopalians. "Here in the diocese, we don't carry the same angst about this that other parts of the church do. . . . It's not a big, scary issue for us."
The election of a new bishop in the Bay Area, however, is a scary matter in many parts of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion, the worldwide family of churches to which the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church USA belongs. Since 2003, when the New Hampshire diocese chose V. Gene Robinson as the first openly gay bishop in Anglican history, conservative Anglicans have urged the U.S. church to apologize, repent and -- above all -- not do it again.
Mathematically, at least, there is now a nearly 50-50 chance that it will happen again. Three of the seven candidates for the Bay Area's bishop live openly with same-sex partners. Two are gay men, the Rev. Michael Barlowe of San Francisco and the Rev. Robert V. Taylor of Seattle. One is a lesbian, the Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago.
Today, about 400 clergy members and 300 lay delegates from Bay Area congregations will gather at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral to elect a successor to the retiring Bishop William E. Swing. The winner will be subject to confirmation by the Episcopal Church's general convention in Columbus, Ohio, in June.
While remaining officially neutral, Episcopal Church leaders have acknowledged the importance of the election. The church's presiding bishop, Frank T. Griswold, told a British newspaper that the California diocese "needs to respect the sensibilities of the larger communion" and predicted that it "will note what is going on in the life of the church and make a careful and wise decision."
Last month, a special commission of Episcopal clergy and laity also urged the U.S. church to "exercise very considerable caution" before consecrating any more bishops "whose manner of life presents a challenge" to the wider communion.
Conservatives' warnings have been less restrained. The reaction to another "non-celibate homosexual" bishop would be "outrage, absolute outrage internationally," said the Rev. David C. Anderson, head of the American Anglican Council, an association of about 300 traditionalist U.S. parishes.
He noted that the primates of 22 of the Anglican Communion's 38 provinces have declared "broken" or "impaired" relations with the Episcopal Church since Robinson's election. If a second gay bishop is elected and approved, he predicted, either the Archbishop of Canterbury will "disinvite" the U.S. church from the communion's meetings, or a majority of the communion's other provinces will refuse to attend, producing a full-blown schism.
National gay rights groups are staying out of the fray. "We're saying it's up to them. It's California's call," said the Rev. Michael W. Hopkins of Rochester, N.Y., a past president of Integrity, a group that promotes equal treatment of gay men and lesbians in the church.
Bay Area parishioners, meanwhile, have shown relatively little interest in the candidates' sexuality. The subject barely came up at a series of question-and-answer forums with the candidates last month, according to Kirkley, who moderated two of the sessions.
One reason, he said, is that "all the candidates are essentially on the same page on these issues. They all support the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in our church, and will work hard to maintain relationships in the larger Anglican Communion and seek opportunities for reconciliation."
The burning issues for the local church, he said, are multicultural ministry and the health of congregations. "People have been threatening schisms in our church since we started ordaining women" in 1976, he said. "This is not a new threat. It's certainly a tiresome one."
California, US: Episcopalians face key votes over gays
The New York Times
COMPILED by RACHEL THORNER
Published: May 5, 2006
A summary of the top stories in the Russian newspapers appears Monday through Friday.
NEW TYPE OF THEATER IN MOSCOW: One of Moscow's experimental theaters, Verbatim, is premiering a new documentary, called "Crossway," that consists of a series of monologues by homeless people, drug addicts, a Caucasian nationalist, a transsexual and other offbeat characters. Crossway is the latest production in the theater's series of documentary-style plays, a new genre for Moscow.