Tens of thousands marched in Taipei’s gay pride parade today in support of a marriage equality bill under consideration by the Taiwanese legislature. Via Reuters:
Taiwan’s legislature on Friday began a review of a gay marriage bill, which has the support of 53 percent of the public, according to a recent opinion poll, though acceptance of a gay family member remains low. “Chinese families are still very traditional,” said Jennifer Lu of the counselling group Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association and one of the hosts on the centre stage. “People still emphasise having an heir and passing on the family name.” On a cool autumn day, the 11th annual parade was marked by colourful costumes, plenty of exposed skin, musical performances and vendors lining the route to and from the city hall. Spokeswoman Meico Tsai praised the liberal attitudes that have put Taiwan far ahead of its neighbours in terms of tolerance of gays. “Compared to other Asian countries, we’re more open, but we still have a long way to go,” she said. Sexual-orientation education is a part of the primary school curriculum and LGBT individuals enjoy legal protection from hiring discrimination and other forms of prejudice. “Korea is much more conservative,” said South Korean national Carmen Yoon, a first-time attendee. “I hope Taiwan will legalise gay marriage and we can follow their example.”
The marriage bill is sponsored by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and is before the legislature’s judiciary committee.