Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Graduates to walk nation to push same-sex marriage

Staff writer, with CNA

A group of university graduates laugh and compare their new haircuts in Taipei yesterday after shaving their heads in preparation for an around-Taiwan walk to raise awareness of gender equality and the legalization of same-sex marriages. The graduates started their walk yesterday and expect to complete it on Sept. 20.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

A group of 11 recent university graduates left Taipei yesterday on a round-the-nation walk to raise support for the legalization of same-sex marriage.

At a pre-departure meeting, two of the young activists ceremonially shaved their heads to show their determination for the cause, which they have titled “Walk in Quest of the Prospect of Love.”

“Everyone has the dream of getting married one day,” said Fang Ming (方敏), who is coordinating the walk.

However, that dream became unreachable for her when she realized her homosexuality, she added.

Fang pointed out that last month, the US Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act — a law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by individual states — unconstitutional, and she expressed the hope that Taiwan will follow suit by legalizing same-sex marriages.

Many people will not understand their cause, but the graduates will persist in their efforts to convey their desire to form families with their loved ones, said Lily Lin (林于立), another of the participants.

Hopefully the walk can break society’s stereotypes and help all couples receive equal rights to marriage, Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights director-general Chien Chih-chieh (簡至潔) said.

There are many people who still cling to the stereotype that same-sex couples are hedonists who have no desire to form families, Chien said.

She expressed the hope that the challenging walk will persuade the public that love and marriage should not be restricted to heterosexual couples.

The walkers plan to shoot a documentary to chronicle the walk, with the aim of garnering support during their 50-day journey and their return to Taipei on Sept. 20 to participate in a Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights rally in front of the legislature.

They will also share their experiences on Facebook during the trip.

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