More than 100,000 people have gathered in the streets of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital on October 26 for what was by far East Asia’s largest Pride march, months after the self-ruled island began formally allowing same-sex marriage, the first place in Asia to do so.
Organisers said more than 200,000 people have marched through the streets of Taipei, in a parade that ended in the evening outside the Presidential Office.
Chi Chia-wei, an activist who brought a case to Taiwan’s constitutional court that led to a landmark court ruling on same-sex marriage in 2017, told Reuters that everyone was extremely happy.
“We used to be worried and fearful, but we have accomplished it, so we are all joining the Pride parade with joy,” he said while standing on a balcony waving a big rainbow flag to the crowds below.
Taiwan President Tsai-Ing-wen and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party have supported the event.
“We hope you have your glad-rags on, because this year’s celebration should be a special one after the passing of #SameSexMarriage legislation, with over 200,000 people expected to attend from all over the world!” Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry wrote on the ministry’s Facebook page.
Still, same-sex marriage has not had an easy ride in Taiwan.
Late last year, Taiwanese voters opposed same-sex marriage in a series of referendums, defining marriage as being between a man and a woman in civil law.
Since its legalisation on May 24, more than 2,150 same-sex couples have married in Taiwan, according to government data.
Meanwhile, same-sex marriage remains illegal in Taiwan’s giant neighbour China, which claims Taiwan as its sacred territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under Beijing’s control. (Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation)