Sat, Oct 27, 2012 - Page 12 News List

LGBT Parade: Wedding bells at the end of the rainbow

This year’s LGBT Pride Parade, now in its 10th year, seeks to highlight the lack of marriage rights for same-sex couples, and to re-consider the traditional notion of marriage

By David Chen  /  Staff reporter

Chen, who is one of the parade’s 300 volunteers, has seen the parade grow quickly. She marched with 15,000 people when she first participated in 2007 and witnessed that number grow to over 50,000 last year. The parade also attracts visitors from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and the Philippines.

When asked about the progress of LGBT rights over the past decade, Chen says activists are finding more “diverse” ways to promote their platform. But she laments what she sees as dithering responses from government officials regarding issues such as same-sex marriage.

Chen notes that in recent years presidential candidates (including both President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his predecessor Chen Shui-bian, 陳水扁) voiced their support for gay marriage but backtracked after winning office. “They say they must follow the consensus of society, but the numbers of people [who support same-sex marriage] keeps growing ... so how many people do we actually need to call it a consensus?”

“When it comes to the right to marry, it’s not about how many people support it,” she said. “When [LGBT couples] are not granted protection and rights, this is harmful to them. We hope the government can step up its efforts and better understand what’s happening.”

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