Last month, over 80,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their supporters marched in the 13th Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade (台灣同志遊行). Turnout was historic, as the parade has become the second largest LGBT event in Asia and the Middle East, after the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade.
A number of events were also held last month to celebrate LGBT pride, including the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival (台灣國際酷兒影展), the Hand in Hand Asian LGBT Choral Festival, which featured over 150 vocalists from around the world, and the ILGA-Asia Conference, the largest of its kind in Asia with 300 activists from over 30 countries.
In the past, most foreign participants were from neighboring countries. But this year, many hailed from the West. According to the Taiwan LGBT Pride (台灣同志遊行聯盟), organizer of the parade, over 5,000 foreign participants took part in the parade and related international events. And thanks to the foreign media’s coverage, the parade successfully boosted the global visibility of Taiwan’s LGBT community.
“The Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade is a famous international event. I want to be part of it to show support,” said Father Silas of the Romanian Orthodox Church during his visit to Taipei. Silas posed nude for the Orthodox Calendar this year to protest homophobia and show his support for the LGBT community.
Meanwhile, some presidential and legislative candidates promised to protect LGBT rights should they be elected.
On the day of the parade, the Ministry of Justice completed the nation’s largest online vote to date on same-sex marriage, which will serve as a reference for policymaking. More than 310,000 people participated in the three-month vote, which was held between Aug. 3 and Oct. 31 on the government’s Public Policy Network Participation Platform (公共政策網路參與平台).
The poll revealed that 59 percent support legal protection for same-sex couples, 71 percent support a same-sex marriage act and 45 percent support a same-sex partnership act, where gay couples are offered certain rights enjoyed by married couples, instead of full marriage rights.
These figures clearly show that support for same-sex marriage has surged to a new high compared with a 2013 poll.
TIME TO ACT
For that poll, the ministry commissioned the Police Research Association (中華警政研究學會) to conduct a study on the feasibility of same-sex marriage legislation. The results showed that 53.7 percent of respondents agreed that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, and 61.1 percent said that married same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.
In response, the association recommended that the ministry push for marriage equality legislation.
However, when the legislature commenced discussion of the draft bill for marriage equality last year, not only did the ministry ignore the association’s recommendations, it also called same-sex marriage “an ethical violation of human relations” in its report to the legislature.
With the results of this new poll showing support for marriage equality increasing from 53.7 percent to 71 percent within a few years, will the ministry continue to groundlessly criticize it while ignoring public opinion?
Some politicians and officials claim that Taiwanese are not ready for same-sex marriage. But the results of the ministry’s own polls clearly show that the majority of Taiwanese are. It’s about time our politicians faced up to this reality.
A post titled “I want to get COVID-19 to pay off my debts” caused a stir on popular Internet forum Dcard last month, as the anonymous user asked for the blood or saliva of the infected so she could claim her pandemic insurance payout of NT$75,000. She had paid just NT$809 for the policy. Although the user later clarified that the post was made in jest to criticize the government’s handling of the ongoing insurance crisis, it’s entirely plausible that some would get infected on purpose to receive their payout — especially given that over 99 percent of the reported Omicron
“Long as I remember, the rain’s been coming down,” the song says. The last couple of weeks of wet certainly make it feel that way. The global media has recently observed the change of hitting a 1.5 Celsius degree rise in average temperatures in the next five years has risen to 50 percent. As many scientists have observed, once that level of warming is hit, the planet will reach a slew of tipping points. 1.5C is thus a major threshold. Nature has been sending us ever more urgent distress signals: murderous heatwaves across the Indian subcontinent, giant sandstorms in Iraq, collapsing
May 16 to May 22 Lin Wen-cha (林文察) and his “Taiwanese braves” (台灣勇) arrived in Fujian Province’s Jianyang District (建陽) on May 19, 1859, eager for their first action outside of Taiwan. The target was local bandit Guo Wanzong (郭萬淙), one of several ruffians who had taken advantage of ongoing Taiping Rebellion to establish strongholds in the area. A strongman leader of the notable Wufeng Lin Family (霧峰林家), Lin had impressed Qing Dynasty rulers five years earlier by helping expel the remnants of Small Knife Society (小刀會) rebels from Keelung. Lin’s forces routed Guo’s gang in just 11 days, earning a formal
You’ll need good eyesight to fully browse the Her stories on the postage stamps (真善美:方寸之間的女性形象特展) exhibition. Although some are shown with zoomed in replicas or feature blown up elements, most of the stamps are presented in their original 3cm-by-4cm size. What makes this fully-bilingual exhibition fascinating, however, are the original artifacts and artwork that many of the stamps are based on, as it’s a collaboration between the Postal Museum, National History Museum and women’s rights groups. For history buffs, it’s a unique way to browse through Chunghwa Post’s ideas of female representation since it took over the nation’s mail service