Fri, Dec 06, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Actress loses endorsement offer after voicing support for same-sex marriage

Staff writer, with CNA

Actress Ding Ning (丁寧) has lost an endorsement deal after expressing support for same-sex marriage.

The 43-year-old, who has starred in several TV dramas and films, said in a Facebook posting on Tuesday that an endorsement deal with a company she did not name was canceled after she participated in a rally in Taipei on Saturday in support of same-sex marriage.

“I saw this coming,” Ding wrote, referring to a backlash.

A number of Facebook users voiced their support for Ding, who had posted several messages in support of gay marriage on the Web site over the past few weeks.

In a post on Saturday, Ding wrote that she had not planned to take to the streets to support gay marriage, but changed her mind after hearing comments on TV opposing an amendment to legalize same-sex marriage.

“I was sad and angry. I always thought we were very democratic, but now I see it is only a democracy for heterosexual people. If you are different from us, you cannot enjoy it,” Ding said.

A publicist from the agency that represents Ding said it was not worried more firms might follow suit.

The publicist declined to name the company, saying “we do not want to cause it trouble,” but confirmed that the endorsement had to do with a parent and child product.

Ding is pregnant with her second child.

The incident is the latest in a string of controversies that have surfaced since a draft amendment to legalized same-sex marriage and allow married gay couples to adopt children cleared a first reading in the Legislative Yuan in October.

The bill has to make it through two more readings before it can become law.

Actress and singer Amber Kuo (郭采潔) posted a comment on Facebook last month that called the proposal “worrying.”

Her comment infuriated supporters of the proposal and spurred a debate over same-sex marriage.

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against same-sex marriage on Saturday, while supporters countered with their own much smaller rally.

Victoria Hsu (許秀雯), president of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, which launched the amendment proposal, said major polls in Taiwan in recent years have shown that about 50 percent of the population supports same-sex marriage.

She thanked Ding and called on the public to respect people with different sexual orientations.

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