Fri, May 05, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Exhibit features LGBT rights struggle

ERADICATING HOMOPHOBIA:The organizer invited people opposed to marriage equality to the exhibition to help them gain a greater understanding of the issue

Staff writer, with CNA

Gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei, right, on Wednesday wipes away tears as Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights president Victoria Hsu addresses a news conference in Taipei to promote the exhibition “See Through: Exhibition Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.”

Photo: Chen Ping-hung, Taipei Times

An exhibition focusing on the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Taiwan, and the history of the fight for marriage equality, is to be held in Taipei later this month to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the organizers said on Wednesday.

The exhibition, titled “See Through: Exhibition Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia,” is to be held from Thursday next week to May 18 at Huashan 1914 Creative Park, said the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, a Taipei-based civic group that advocates same-sex marriage.

Group members told a news conference that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) and people opposed to gay marriage had been sent invitations to the exhibition to help them gain a greater understanding of the issue.

The exhibition will feature photographs, videos, artifacts and news clips on LGBT issues from the past few decades, alliance president Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) said.

The exhibition will hopefully encourage greater dialogue on LGBT rights in an effort to eradicate homophobia in Taiwan, she said.

The exhibition is also to include stories of gay people who have been unable to legally marry.

Hsu said a Taiwanese man she met in Japan said that he was forced to resign from the military about 30 years ago for being gay, evidenced by an official military discharge paper.

He went on to study in Japan, where he met his partner, but they could not get married because Japan does not allow same-sex marriage, Hsu said.

The man has been staying in Japan illegally, but has been discovered by the authorities and is facing deportation, she said.

He has filed a lawsuit over his case and a judicial process is under way, Hsu added.

The story of gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei (祁家威) is also to be featured at the exhibition, the organizers said.

Chi is among the petitioners requesting a constitutional interpretation on whether the nation’s marriage law is unconstitutional because it does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The Council of Grand Justices interpretation is to be announced on May 24.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on May 17 worldwide.

The alliance has held one-day activities, including forums, movie screenings and rallies, to mark the day in previous years, but this year will be the first time it has held an exhibition lasting several days to mark the day, Hsu said.

This year, the alliance decided to do something different to call greater attention to the issue of LGBT rights as the Tsai administration will mark its first anniversary in office on May 20, and the council is to announce its constitutional interpretation a few days later, Hsu said.

A draft act that would legalize same-sex marriage and allow married gay couples to adopt children passed its initial screening at the legislature late last year amid fierce protests, and further discussions are to be held at the legislature.

If Taiwan legalizes same-sex marriage, it would be the first Asian nation to do so.

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