Criticisms levelled by Christian groups at the Taipei City Government for funding gay rights events has infuriated gay rights advocates who yesterday condemned the stigmatization of gays and lesbians.
The advocates also urged the city government not to flinch from raising civil awareness of gender diversity and promoting basic human rights by opponents' comments.
"Funding gay rights movements is a significant index of the city government's progress in protecting human rights ? But these [Christian] groups stigmatize us because of their outdated way of thinking," Ashley Wu (
PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES
Wu and other advocates, accompanied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lin Yi-hua (林奕華), made the remarks responding to various representatives of Christian groups, and KMT City Councilor Li Keng Kuei-fang (厲耿桂芳) who voiced disapproval on Friday of the city government's listing of the `Taipei Gay Civic Movement' as a normal item in its annual budget.
Li Keng and the representatives accused the city government of planning to sponsor a public wedding ceremony for gays and lesbians next month.
"Legalizing same-sex marriage would be disastrous. Does the city government plan to subjugate the nation by allowing gay marriages?," Chang Mau-song (張茂松) a minister from the Hsien Tien Covenant Church said on Friday during a press conference held by Li Keng.
Deputy Chief of the Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs Yeh Jie-sheng (
Li Keng, however, continued to question the city government's friendly gestures to the gay community, warning that promoting same-sex relationships or marriage would only help the spread of AIDS, as homosexuals are "prone to having AIDS."
Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
"But it doesn't mean that we are encouraging people to become gays and lesbians," Ma said when attending a municipal event in Taipei.
Chairman of Taiwan's Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus Nelson Chen (
"Last year the department sent a flower basket to my wedding as a blessing. Now it says that it doesn't support gay marriage when confronted by conservative groups," he told the Taipei Times.
The "Taipei Gay Civic Movement" was launched by the city government in 2000 with an annual budget of about NT$1 million (US$ 30,000).
The event will be held Sept. 18 this year with a rainbow-flag-raising ceremony in front of Taipei City Hall.
Gay rights groups will hold a gay parade on Sept. 30 and plan a collective gay wedding ceremony in Huashan Culture Park following the parade.
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The