Tiny is­land in a PC sea

The Washington Times Weekly - - Off The Tracks -

Here’s a dilemma for the thor­oughly mod­ern man who prides him­self on al­ways be­ing on the cor­rect side of the iden­tity pol­i­tics card. Whose cause do you take up here, the in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized vic­tim group or the poor, op­pressed na­tive peo­ples?

Cam­paign­ers on the Greek is­land of Les­bos are to go to court in an at­tempt to stop a gay rights or­gan­i­sa­tion from us­ing the term “les­bian”.

The is­lan­ders say that if they are suc­cess­ful they may then start to fight the word les­bian in­ter­na­tion­ally.

The is­sue boils down to who has the right to call them­selves Les­bians.

Is it gay women, or the 100,000 peo­ple liv­ing on Greece's third big­gest is­land — plus an­other 250,000 ex­pa­tri­ates who orig­i­nate from Les­bos?

[The age of lib­er­a­tion meets the age of lit­i­ga­tion, head-on with each side go­ing 100 mph]:

The man spear­head­ing the case, pub­lisher Dim­itris Lam­brou, claims that in­ter­na­tional dom­i­nance of the word in its sex­ual con­text vi­o­lates the hu­man rights of the is­lan­ders, and dis­graces them around the world.

He says it causes daily prob­lems to the so­cial life of Les­bos's in­hab­i­tants.

In court pa­pers, the plain­tiffs al­lege that the Greek gov­ern­ment is so em­bar­rassed by the term Les­bian that it has been forced to re­name the is­land af­ter its cap­i­tal, Mytilini.

An early court date has now been set for judges to de­cide whether to grant an in­junc­tion against the Ho­mo­sex­ual and Les­bian Com­mu­nity of Greece and to or­der it to change its name.

A spokes­woman for the group has de­scribed the case as a ground­less vi­o­la­tion of free­dom of ex­pres­sion, and has pledged to fight it.

— “Les­bos is­lan­ders dis­pute gay name,” posted May 1 at bbc.co.uk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.