Taiwanese activists stage demonstration, urge legalization of gay marriage

Participants hold a giant rainbow flag during the Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade in Taipei October 26, 2013.

TAIPEI - An alliance of more than one hundred non-governmental organisations yesterday staged a rally outside the Legislative Yuan urging the government to complete the necessary amendments that will pave the way for the legalization of gay marriage.

Dubbed the "rainbow siege," reports indicate that more than 4,000 members of the public participated in yesterday's demonstration at the Legislative Yuan.

Demonstrators attached 112 padlocks symbolizing the strangleholds of homophobic opinions labelled with the names of lawmakers on the gates of the Legislative Yuan facing Qingdao East Road. In response to the appeals of activists, 21 lawmakers accepted the invitation to unlock and remove the padlocks with "keys of equality." Demonstration organizers stated that among the 21 lawmakers openly expressing their support for equal marriage rights yesterday, four are aligned to the ruling party while 14 are from the opposition party, with two being independent lawmakers.

Most notably, opposition party lawmaker Yu Mei-nu yesterday announced that she would leverage her position as the convener of the Judicial Committee to include equal marriage on the agenda of the current legislative session. Yu noted that demonstrations such as the rainbow siege have clearly expressed the people's support for equal marriage rights.

Yu also stated yesterday that a public hearing on the matter will be scheduled toward the middle of this month, ahead of another large-scale gay rights march on Oct. 25. The public hearing will gather opinions from academic experts, activist groups and non-governmental organisations on both sides of the equal marriage rights issue so that preliminary plans may be submitted to the Ministry of Justice for review.

Demonstrators also performed a dance routine satirizing the anti-gay marriage views of a Christian preacher, who urged her flock to resist the shackles of homosexual temptation that have gone viral on the Internet.

Five Parents Oppose Equal Marriage Rights on Behalf of 'Silent Majority'

Meanwhile, five individuals who identified themselves as concerned parents read a prepared statement outlining their opposition to ongoing efforts toward equal marriage rights for all, at a press conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday. The parents' representatives claimed that they are speaking on behalf of the silent majority, referring to the 300,000 individuals who stepped forth to protest in an anti-gay marriage demonstration last November, while reiterating their intent to protect the definition of the family as a union between a man and a woman.

One of the parents' representatives, surnamed Wang, stated that regardless of how equal marriage rights activists market and name their cause, their movement at its core is aimed at sexual liberation. "I have no qualms about how some people choose to lead their lives, but our children will be impacted by the impending shifts in culture and society," said Wang.

Donning surgical masks, the parents' representatives concluded the press conference after reading their prepared statement and declined all questions from reporters.

More about