Sunday 30 October 2016

Taiwan's gay pride parade brings thousands to streets

Gay Pride

In Taiwan tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Taipei on Saturday for Asia’s biggest gay pride parade, calling on Taiwan’s new government to legalise same-sex marriage.

Supporters waved placards with slogans such as "How long will tongzhi have to wait?" – referring to the Chinese term for someone who is gay. Among the outfits on display were swimsuits, wedding dresses and loincloths usually worn by Japanese sumo wrestlers.

Many of the attendees hoped that same-sex marriage would soon become a reality under the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is in control of parliament for the first time.

"The call for marriage equality feels stronger than last year," said Corinne Chiang, a 34-year-old IT worker. "We hope same-sex marriage can be realised as soon as possible so our child can have two legal mums."

Taiwan is one of the region’s most progressive societies when it comes to gay rights, but legal reform on marriage equality has remained stagnant due to resistance from the Kuomintang (KMT) party, which dominated politics for decades before being unseated by the DPP in May.

As a result, previous attempts to pass a same-sex marriage bill have stalled, but parliament is soon expected to deliberate fresh proposals on the issue.

President Tsai Ing-wen has openly supported marriage equality and said she would respect any decision reached by parliament. "Even though my role has changed, my values remain unchanged," she wrote on her official Facebook page on Saturday.



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