Gays call for marriage equality in Taiwan
TENS of thousands of people packed Taipei’s streets over the weekend in Asia’s biggest gay pride parade, wearing colourful costumes and carrying rainbow flags as they called on Taiwan’s new government to legalise same-sex marriage.
Supporters waved placards with slogans like “How long will tongzhi have to wait?” – referring to the Chinese term for someone who is gay – as they circled downtown Taipei.
Some took the opportunity to dress up, donning a variety of outfits including swimsuits, wedding dresses and loincloths usually worn by Japanese sumo wrestlers.
Many of the attendees were hopeful that same-sex marriage would soon become a reality under the pro-gay ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is in control of parliament for the first time.
Taiwan is one of the region’s most forward-thinking societies when it comes to gay rights, but progress on marriage equality has remained stagnant, because of 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 had stalled, but parliament is soon expected to deliberate fresh proposals on the issue. –