Thu, Jan 23, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Gay group complains over opposition event, funding

By Lee Yu-hsin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A rally last year run to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage may have violated government regulations, the Taiwan International Association for Gay Rights said yesterday.

The association’s spokesman Chen Chih-ming (陳志明) told a press conference in Taipei that the coalition was not registered at the Ministry of the Interior, and that funding raised by the group had gone into church coffers was also suspicious.

Chen said the Charity Donations Act (公益勸募條例) states that donations made to religious groups cannot be used for nonreligious activities, adding that the Nov. 30 rally held by the Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation had been designated a “civilian movement.”

“From the accounts I received of the donations, the Taiwan Lutheran Church raised NT$20 million [US$662,799] from the event, but it was not clear where the money went,” Chen said, adding that he suspected the coalition was manipulating the anti-gay marriage subject to raise funds for the church.

The government should launch an investigation into the matter, Chen said.

Also present at the press conference was Ministry of Health and Welfare official Chiang Kuo-jen (江國仁). Chiang said he would look into the funds raised by the event organizers.

The ministry’s religion division chief Huang Shu-kuan (黃淑冠) said it was difficult to say how the event should have been classified, adding that the division would look into the matter.

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