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Thousands Turn Out for LGBT Pride March in Taipei, Taiwan: VIDEO

Taiwan

Tens of thousands marched in an LGBT Pride celebration in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday pushing for equal rights, Reuters reports:

2_taiwanTaiwan's legislature on Friday began a review of a gay marriage bill, which has the support of 53 percent of the public, according to a recent opinion poll, though acceptance of a gay family member remains low.

"Chinese families are still very traditional," said Jennifer Lu of the counselling group Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association and one of the hosts on the centre stage. "People still emphasise having an heir and passing on the family name."

On a cool autumn day, the 11th annual parade was marked by colourful costumes, plenty of exposed skin, musical performances and vendors lining the route to and from the city hall.

Spokeswoman Meico Tsai praised the liberal attitudes that have put Taiwan far ahead of its neighbours in terms of tolerance of gays. "Compared to other Asian countries, we're more open, but we still have a long way to go," she said.

Watch videos of the march, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Thousands Turn Out for LGBT Pride March in Taipei, Taiwan: VIDEO" »


Mass Gay 'Wedding Banquet' In Taiwan Pushes For Marriage Equality

Banquet

Around 30 same-sex couples in Taipei, Taiwan symbolically tied the knot down the road from the presidential palace Saturday in a symbolic mass "wedding banquet" intended to push the government to recognize same-sex marriages. 

From Focus Taiwan:

A mass wedding that attracted over 1,000 people was held in downtown Taipei on Saturday, amid a push by local civic groups to legalize all forms of civil partnerships, including same-sex marriage, in Taiwan...

The alliance also hoped that the banquet would drive up support for an amendment that would legalize gay marriage, civil partnerships, and the adoption of children by diverse families in Taiwan.

The proposed legislation is set to be submitted to the Legislative Yuan later this month.

AFP adds:

Participants sat around tables decorated with red cloths printed with the Chinese character for “wedding”, as they had dinner and watched a video recording of local celebrities showing support as well as live performances in a makeshift banquet venue in a square outside the presidential office in Taipei.

“This looks likes a traditional wedding scene and even if it’s not real, I think a picture is worth a thousand words and I hope we will get more public attention and support for same-sex marriages,” said Richard Chen, a 22-year-old student from Taipei.

According to The China Post, a poll from the United Daily News shows that 55 percent of the population are in favour of same-sex marriage, with 37 percent opposed. Though that same poll also pointed out that 61 percent of respondents would not accept their children if they were gay. 

"Taiwan is considered one of the more liberal countries in Asia in terms of homosexual issues and hosts one of the largest gay pride parades in Asia each year," according to The China Post.


Boulder Narrowly Misses Car During Landslide in Taiwan: VIDEO

Rockslide

Heavy rain in Taiwan is causing massive landslides, and a driver's dashcam caught the frightening moment a massive boulder almost squished a car near Keelung City.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Taipei Times has a photograph of the car and boulder from the other direction.

Continue reading "Boulder Narrowly Misses Car During Landslide in Taiwan: VIDEO" »


News: Chuck Bass, Taiwan, Authors, Male Escort, 'Dictatorship'

1NewsIcon Rather than discussing US-Taiwan relations with King Pu-tsung, their representative to the US, Taiwanese lawmakers were more interested in asking him questions about rumors that he's gay and having an affair with President Ma Ying-jeou: "King said it was 'unfair' that people have claimed that his political progress has been spurred along through sexual relationships, adding that the insinuation was also insulting to homosexuals."

Boehner1NewsIcon Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is blaming GOP House Speaker John Boehner of running the House like a "dictatorship" and intentionally obstructing fiscal cliff negotiations. "Everyone knows that if they had brought up the Senate-passed bill, it would pass overwhelmingly. But the speaker says, no we can't do that," Reid said today. "It's [the House] being operated by a dictatorship of the speaker."

1NewsIcon Lindsay Lohan got a bit of a break on the tax lien on her home.

1NewsIcon Johnny Depp's 2012, a photo essay.

1NewsIcon "How An Author Should Be." (Good at building anticipation.)

Steamroom1NewsIcon Presenting "The Fabulous Fags of the Steambath."

1NewsIcon Don't you wish you would find British Olympic diver Tom Daley under your mistletoe?

1NewsIcon Puppies in the snow.

1NewsIcon A look back at 2012 in celebrity fashion.

1NewsIcon Nick and Nate Montana show off their football bodies on the beach.

1NewsIcon Following in Richard Hanna and Ileana Ros-Lehtinan, a third GOP congressman has come out against the anti-gay DOMA: "U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, R-Peterborough, took a symbolic step this week by being the first Republican member of Congress from New England to sign on to an effort that would allow the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage."

1NewsIcon "A Gay Male Escort Recalls His Craziest Client Request."

1NewsIcon Anti-gay conservative MP Tim Loughton: "[Marriage is] a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God."

Hotpriests1NewsIcon Men said to be Romanian Orthodox priests posed suggestively for a calendar being described as "homoerotic."

1NewsIcon The Journal-News, a newspaper for New York's Westchester and Rockland Counties, is at the center of a privacy debate after publishing the names and addresses of gun-owning residents. "Turns out the stunt was so unpopular — with gun owners and privacy advocates alike — that a blogger named Christopher Fountain took it upon himself to dig up and organize the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the Journal-News staff, starting with editor Cyndee Royle."

1NewsIcon Brian Schatz has been sworn in to replace late Hawaiian Sen. Daniel Inouye. "I am honored to serve in this capacity, and I can assure you that if given the opportunity, I will make Hawaii proud," he said. "I'm going to work very hard, and I understand the road ahead is going to be challenging for all of us, but it also is potentially a hopeful time to rebuild as a united congressional delegation."


Taiwan's Ministry Of Justice Researching Marriage Equality In Asia

TaipeiWell aware that marriage equality is the wave of the future, Taiwan's government is enlisting academics to look into how to integrate same-sex nuptials or unions into the country's laws and traditions.

The initial research, organized by the Ministry of Justice, looked West to Germany, Canada and France, but activists demanded the government look closer to home, the Taipei Times reports.

[Chung Jui-lan, deputy director-general of the ministry’s Department of Legal Affairs] said the ministry decided to study Asian countries’ attitudes to same-sex marriage after critics of such unions questioned why the ministry had left Asian countries out of its May study, given that they are more similar to Taiwan than Western nations.

The study will also cover topics such as whether to revise the Civil Code if same-sex marriage if legalized or if passing a civil partnership act would be more viable than outright legalization, Chung said.

...

The report released by the ministry in May concluded that the Registered Same-Sex Partnership Regime adopted by Germany offers “a better common ground and a compromise solution between the marriage equality groups and those who are opposed to same-sex marriages.”

The system initially gave unequal rights to same-sex registered partners compared with married couples, but has improved the rights of the former through amendments to the law over the years.

As the Ministry of Justice launches this study, a court is considering whether gay couple Kao Chih-wei and Nelson Chen, whose 2006 wedding remains unrecognized, can go ahead with a lawsuit against the ban. If they win the suit, they'll be the first same-sex married couple in relatively liberal Taiwan, the paper notes.


Taiwan's First Gay, Buddhist Wedding

08Shih Chao-hweiWhat will reportedly be Taiwan's first gay Buddhist wedding shall be held in Taoyuan County next month, according to the Taipei Times:

“We are not only doing it for ourselves, but also for other gays and lesbians,” Fish Huang said in a telephone interview.

The 30-year-old ... said that marriage never crossed her mind until she saw a movie last year.

The film portrayed two lesbians whose ill-fated relationship concluded after one died and the other was left heartbroken over the denial of spousal benefits.

“It’s so sad,” Huang said, who plans to wed her partner of seven years on Aug. 11 at a Buddhist altar ...

There shall be blessings, chants, and lectures from Buddhist masters on marriage. The ceremony won't be legally binding.

Despite the profound Buddhist-ish-ness of the marriage ceremony, Fish Huang tells the Taipei Times that many of her Buddhist friends were initially wary of attending the event, worrying that doing so might conflict with their vows. She wrote to a Buddhist master, asking for the party line on homosexuality, and the master not only told her that Buddhism, as she knew it, was a-okay with lesbian weddings -- the master offered to perform Fish Huang's lesbian wedding. From the Taipei Times:

“It is meaningful to us that our wedding can give hope to other homosexuals and help heterosexuals understand how Buddhism views sexuality,” Huang said.

The Buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei (釋昭慧), who is also a professor at Hsuan Chuang University, said Buddhist teachings do not prohibit homosexual behavior.

... “It’s difficult enough to maintain a relationship ... how could you be so stingy as to begrudge a couple for wanting to get married, regardless of their sexual orientation,” she said in a telephone interview.

Shih Chao-hwei acknowledged that her views were not universally shared among her co-religionists.


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