Wed, Aug 10, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei to play host to biggest same-sex mass wedding

AFP, TAIPEI

About 60 lesbian couples will tie the knot in the nation’s biggest same-sex mass wedding in the hope that Taiwan will soon follow New York state in legalizing gay marriage, an organizer said yesterday.

About 1,000 people, including visitors from China, Thailand and the US, have purchased tickets for the private event, which will take place at an overnight party in Taipei later this month, organizer AJ Wang said.

“We are celebrating the recent legalization of gay marriage in New York and we hope that Taiwan will make the same move in the near future,” she said.

“We also want the public to see that so many gay couples are committed to each other and they deserve to be recognized and treated fairly,” she added.

New York became the sixth and most populous US state to approve gay marriage in late June, with 659 same-sex couples tying the knot on the first day the law took effect.

Even though gay marriage is not legal in Taiwan, the organizers do not expect the government to interfere.

Taiwan is becoming more open-minded toward its homosexual population, with the country hosting Asia’s biggest gay pride parade last year, with a turnout of about 30,000, gay rights groups said.

The Executive Yuan in 2003 drafted a bill to legalize same-sex marriages and allow homosexual couples to adopt children — the first in Asia to promise to do so — but it is still pending in the legislature.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said he respects same-sex unions, but added that public consensus is needed before the government can move ahead with the legislation.

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