Don’t rain on our parade.
Tens of thousands of people marched in the rain through Taipei on Saturday in a colourful annual tradition to call for better rights for the LGBT community.
Participants at the biggest pride event in Asia used the event to call for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Taiwan is more liberal than much of Asia on LGBT rights but moves toward marriage equality have stalled.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which controls Taiwan’s parliament, is widely considered sympathetic to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Official delegates from the European Union, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, Netherlands and the United Kingdom joined the march in solidarity for equal rights.
Organizers told local media that discussion of gender issues in Taiwan has become more open over the years, with people celebrating diversity.
On the eve of the parade, Taiwan’s Justice Minister, Chin Tai-san, gave marchers fresh hope by pledging that the new government, elected earlier this year, had a clear position on same-sex marriage and backed equality.
New president, Tsai Ing-wen, has voiced her support for same-sex marriage and parliament is expected to consider fresh proposals on the issue soon.
If it goes into force, Taiwan will become the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.
Opinion shows that a majority of Taiwan’s public favour marriage equality, with 71% of respondents to an online poll carried out by the justice ministry voting in favour of full equality.