Wed, Dec 25, 2013 - Page 3 News List

A-mei’s manager slams homophobic remarks

Staff writer, with CNA

Pop diva Chang Hui-mei’s (張惠妹) manager yesterday threatened to sue an Internet user for allegedly making remarks slandering the singer, as well as homosexuals.

The netizen branded the 41-year-old Aboriginal singer, also known as A-mei (阿妹), “promiscuous” and suggested that Aborigines are “dirty.”

“It is not surprising that she supports homosexuals,” the person wrote, adding that gays are “possessed by evil spirits” and need help from the church.

The comment has since been removed, but was widely reported on local news sites after Edward Chan (陳鎮川), A-mei’s manager, vowed to take the author of the remarks to court.

“You can criticize or disagree with her ideals, but how can you make such obscene personal attacks on Aboriginal and homosexual people?” Chan wrote on Facebook.

The incident came to light after the singer held a free outdoor concert in Taipei on Sunday in support of legalizing same-sex marriage and other gay rights, drawing close to 20,000 fans.

She financed the concert out of her own pocket and was the first entertainer to sign a petition in support of a draft bill to legalize gay marriage and allow married homosexual couples to adopt children.

The bill cleared its first reading in the Legislative Yuan in October.

Meanwhile, three same-sex couples who did not want to wait any longer for the bill to clear the legislative floor, tied the knot at the Luce Memorial Chapel yesterday in Greater Taichung, although the ceremony has no legal validity.

The couples exchanged wedding vows and rings before Reverend Elias Tseng (曾恕敏), the nation’s first openly gay pastor, at a ceremony held in the chapel on Tunghai University’s campus.

“I have a small mind. There is only enough room for you,” one of the brides said to her partner in her wedding vows.

Regardless of their sexual orientation, couples who have decided to spend their lives together should have the right to receive blessings from everyone, Tseng said.

Milly Hou, one of the ceremony’s organizers, said she wants to encourage everyone to pursue love because many of her gay friends keep their relationships secret because social pressure has made them afraid of coming out.

“As a law major, I think people should be given equal rights by the legal system and if heterosexual couples are allowed to pursue happiness, gay people should also be afforded that same right,” Hou said.

Tunghai University chief secretary Lu Bing-kuan (呂炳寬) said the school respects students and people’s rights to voice their opinions on public issues.

Prior to thhe wedding ceremony, supporters of the draft bill held a parade at the campus organized by the Taiwan GDi Association, Taiwan LGBT Pride and various student groups.

Gay, lesbian and civil rights groups have been pushing for the legalization of same-sex unions for years, but last month, tens of thousands took to the streets of Taipei to protest against the draft bill.

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