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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 31 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 44
Huge Taiwan Pride: 70,000 'Walk in Queers' Shoes'
Section One
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Huge Taiwan Pride: 70,000 'Walk in Queers' Shoes'

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Some 70,000 people attended Taiwan Pride on October 25, making the 2014 parade one of the largest since the event began in 2003.

This year's theme was 'Walk in Queers' Shoes' featuring voices from marginalized LGBT communities - HIV-positive people, sex workers, and disabled Queers.

'Most of the participants in the parade voiced their support for the legalization of same-sex marriage,' Lin I-fan reported on Global Voices website.

'A marriage equality bill presented to the Legislative Yuan by the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights in 2012. The legislature passed the first reading on October 25, 2013, but the legislative process was suspended in reaction to a massive mobilization of opponents of same-sex marriage.

'Gay rights activists began pushing legislators to resume their work in early October this year and a public hearing for the bill was held on October 16. Many couples in the LGBT communities took the opportunity of this year's pride parade to share their stories and hope with others.'

Global Voices is an international collective that collects and translates reports from social media worldwide.

Some parade-goers told reporters that the 'Walk in Queers' Shoes' theme did not fit with the push to legalize same-sex marriage.

'I feel like the parade is not well-linked to the current drive for gay marriage,' a man who identified himself as 'Snox' told the Taipei Times.

'A lot of people have the stereotype that gay men are promiscuous; a push for marriage could combat that view,' Snox said, adding that he and his partner have been planning for marriage for several years. For the occasion they wore matching T-shirts reading 'We would like to get married.'

Another participant, who asked to be identified as 'Yangyang,' said this year's theme was positive. Dressed in a men's blazer and a women's black skirt, Yangyang said the government needed to allocate more resources to setting up restrooms for Transgender people.

As the parade made its way through central Taipei, an anti-Gay rights coalition led by Christian groups demonstrated in front of the parliament building, calling on the government to protect children from what it called 'public displays of indecency.'

Other religious groups supported the LGBT community, however, with members of the Tong-Kwan Lighthouse Presbyterian Church, a Gay Christian organization, marching in the parade.

Taiwan is relatively progressive on LGBT rights, and its capital, Taipei, is sometimes called 'the San Francisco of the East.'

Same-sex sexual activity is legal, and Gays and Lesbians have been allowed to serve in the country's armed forces since 2002. Sexual orientation has been protected by law since 2003 in education and since 2007 in the workplace.

Taiwanese also have a legal right to change their gender. In August 2013, the Taiwanese government OKed the country's first same-sex marriage between two Trans women, after deciding that one of the couple was legally still a man.

A 2013 poll showed that 53% of Taiwanese support same-sex marriage. According to the poll 76% are in favor of equal rights for Gay men and Lesbians.

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