Tue, Dec 24, 2013 - Page 3 News List

All forms of love should be respected, pop star A-mei says

Staff writer, with CNA

Singer A-mei performs at a free outdoor concert to support the legalization of same-sex marriage at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei on Sunday.

Photo: Wang Wen-lin, Taipei Times

Pop singer A-mei (阿妹), who gave a free concert in Taipei on Sunday to show her support for same-sex marriage and other gay rights, said she believes all forms of love should be respected.

“Some people might resist this idea out of a lack of understanding. We can use this [concert] as an opportunity to help people gradually understand,” A-mei told reporters before the show.

“Love and music can block out a lot of unnecessary things,” the 41-year-old Aborigine singer said. “No matter what we think, when we stand here listening to music together, being moved, calling out or swaying with people we don’t know, we are on some level affected.”

Close to 20,000 fans flocked to the free outdoor concert at Huashan 1914 Creative Park, despite the cold and wet weather.

The star performed more than 20 songs for her fans, many of whom held rainbow flags, a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The cost of the concert, estimated at about NT$3 million (US$100,149), was covered by A-mei herself, her agent said.

Thousands of fans left messages of appreciation on the Sina Weibo microblogging site and the singer’s Facebook page after the concert.

“Thank you A-mei and a team filled with love. A moving night. We all cried!” wrote Nelson Chen, a Taiwanese man who with his partner fought a court case last year for the legal recognition of his same-sex marriage.

A-mei’s concert came as the same-sex marriage debate has heightened.

A draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage and allow married gay couples to adopt children cleared its first reading in the legislature in October.

However, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei to protest the bill last month.

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