- Title: Gay marriage supporters hold rally in Taipei
- Date: 10th December 2016
- Summary: PROTESTERS IN FRONT OF STAGE WATCHING PERFORMANCE
- Embargoed: 25th December 2016 13:08
- Keywords: Taiwan LGBT gays lesbians protest rally same-sex marriage civil rights
- Location: TAIPEI, TAIWAN
- City: TAIPEI, TAIWAN
- Country: Taiwan
- Reuters ID: LVA0025CAVJUT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in support of same-sex marriage in Taiwan on Saturday (December 10).
Taiwanese lawmakers had proposed to amend the country's civil code to allow for same-sex marriage, an initiative that was met with opposition both within the public and political circles.
As a response to this criticism, a group of lawmakers proposed to instead formulate a special law to regulate unions between same-sex couples, either in the form of marriage or registered partnership.
According to media, local police authorities estimated the number of protesters to be around 75,000 people. They were waving flags and banners and shouted "we want to get married".
Conservative religious groups have been staging efforts to halt the amendments to Taiwan's civil code by either calling for a referendum or demanding the establishment of a special law that would allow for same-sex couples to register partnerships.
"Because recently there have been a lot of trouble and disturbances, a lot of opposition against gay marriage and marriage equality and a lot of inadequate accusations and name calling. But we think that the right ideas should be known by everyone, so we came out (to protest) today, hoping that everyone can hear our honest message and not be (biased) by the commercials that are bought with big money to smear our demands and ideals on the internet or on TV," said Chen Kai-chun.
Many in Taiwan have criticised the proposed special law as yet another form of discrimination against homosexuals.
"We are neither protesting nor celebrating. We came here to fight for progress in Taiwan's human rights. We want to become the first country in Asia to legalise gay marriage, so that Taiwan can be noticed throughout the world. This is why there are 20.000 people standing here today to let our government know that Taiwan is constantly making progress and will no more serve those who discriminate," said Bryan Tsai.
The rally lasted into the night, with protesters dancing with rainbow flags to the performances on stage.
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