A gay and lesbian group yesterday hailed what it said was the biggest ever gay pride parade in Asia over the weekend, saying 30,000 people had taken to the streets for the event.
“The rally was a big success as the turnout was bigger than we had expected,” spokesman for Taiwan LGBT Pride Rex Shau (邵祺邁)
The tens of thousands who marched through Taipei on Saturday, included supporters from China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, organizers said.
Waving rainbow flags and placards, the marchers paraded for about 1km, many wearing Brazilian carnival-style costumes, while others wore only men’s briefs despite chilly winds and drizzle.
Organizers said they hoped to move gay and lesbian issues higher up Taiwan’s political agenda ahead of the special municipal elections in five cities that are slated to take place on Nov. 27.
“While we hoped the rally would raise awareness of gays and lesbians, the rally also aimed to vie for substantial support from the election candidates,” Shau said. “Some politicians just paid lip service, never taking real steps to adopt non-discrimination measures.”
The Executive Yuan in 2003 drafted a bill to legalize same-sex marriages and recognize the rights of homosexual couples to adopt children, which would make it the first country in Asia to do so. However, the law has yet to be passed and some gay groups have criticized its drafting as simply a ploy to woo voters.