Taiwan holds Asia’s largest pride parade as it waits for gay marriage

0

TAIPEI: A sea of rainbow flags and glitzy costumes filled downtown Taipei Saturday as tens of thousands marched in Asia’s largest gay pride parade, the first since Taiwan’s top court ruled in favor of gay marriage.

The island looks set to become the first place in Asia to legalize gay marriage after the constitutional court said in May that laws preventing same-sex unions violated the guarantee of freedom of marriage.

It gave the government two years to implement the decision.

Supporters of same-sex rights wave rainbow flags during a gay pride parade in Taipei on Saturday. AFP PHOTO

The anticipation was felt in Saturday’s parade, as dancing crowds in colorful wigs and sequined outfits made their way through the capital’s center alongside vans blasting music.


Many spared no effort in dressing up, from a man posing in a sweeping bridal dress and a tiara to another donning an inflatable dinosaur costume.

But behind the celebrations, some are frustrated at the lack of progress in changing the current marriage laws since May.

“A lot of people cannot afford to wait two years,” said Joseph Wu, 46, dressed in a matching kilt and rainbow turban with his partner of six years.

“We just want the same things heterosexual couples have. We also do our military service, we pay the same taxes, so why can’t we have the same thing?” he said.

Hino Chen, 29, echoed this sentiment, adding that he hopes the government will change the civil code rather than enact a separate law to enable gay marriage—which critics say is still discriminatory.

“We are the same. We also want to start our own families,” he told Agence France-Presse.

Gay rights activists expressed frustration last month when a Taipei administrative court rejected a request from a lesbian couple to marry, saying they can only register when relevant laws are in place.

Still, Taiwan is seen as one of the most progressive societies in Asia when it comes to gay rights.

For Benny Chan from Hong Kong, it was worth traveling to Taipei just for the parade.

He was dressed as a Chinese empress in a strapless full-length gold gown, which he says he would not dare to wear in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong is more conservative, maybe because of China’s influence,” Chan, 35, told Agence France-Presse.

“Only when I’m in Taiwan can I dress like this and not be afraid to express myself.” AFP

 

 

 

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

Comments are closed.