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March for Marriage Equality in Taiwan Amid Referendum Debate

Hundreds of thousands marched through Taipei, Taiwan's capital Saturday calling for the government to deliver the promise of marriage equality. The demonstration comes during a heated debate over same-sex marriage and whether civil laws should recognize it.

The first such ruling in Asia, Taiwan’s constitutional court declared May 2017 that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry, and set a two-year deadline for legalization.

Now the island will hold a series of public votes November 24, after election authority approved separate referendum petitions from conservative and civil rights groups.

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The 16th annual parade in Taipei is the largest of its kind in East Asia.
The 16th annual parade in Taipei is the largest of its kind in East Asia. Photo:Reuters
The parade featured colorful costumes, musical performances and rainbow flags as protesters gathered near the Presidential Office.
The parade featured colorful costumes, musical performances and rainbow flags as protesters gathered near the Presidential Office. Photo:Reuters
Organizers said about 137,000 attended the Saturday parade.
Organizers said about 137,000 attended the Saturday parade. Photo:Reuters
The move has revived a debate over a possible separate law for civil unions between gay couples and presents a challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen, who rights activists say, has made little progress on the issue despite campaigning on a promise of marriage equality in the run-up to elections in 2016.
The move has revived a debate over a possible separate law for civil unions between gay couples and presents a challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen, who rights activists say, has made little progress on the issue despite campaigning on a promise of marriage equality in the run-up to elections in 2016. Photo:Reuters
"We will use our vote to tell Tsai Ing-wen
"We will use our vote to tell Tsai Ing-wen's government that people want marriage equality," said Miao Poya, who joined the parade and was one of the activists who proposed a referendum in favor of same-sex marriage. Photo:Reuters
Society is still divided on same-sex marriage, Tsai said this year, but the government would abide by the constitutional court ruling of May 2017.
Society is still divided on same-sex marriage, Tsai said this year, but the government would abide by the constitutional court ruling of May 2017. Photo:Reuters
Carrying banners that said "vote for your happy future," the marchers shouted "defeat discrimination".
Carrying banners that said "vote for your happy future," the marchers shouted "defeat discrimination". Photo:Reuters
A participant in the parade for LGBT marriage equality stands next to a wedding studio.
A participant in the parade for LGBT marriage equality stands next to a wedding studio. Photo:Reuters
Published 27 October 2018
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