Protestors rallying to support efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan had the support of two Buddhist nuns on Sunday, while a rival family values rally was mainly supported by Christian groups.
Both sides of the debate held protest rallies in Taipei’s Freedom Square with some scuffles occurring between the two groups.
Supporters of marriage equality were decked out in the rainbow gay pride colors while opponents wore cardboard hats depicting a mother and father panda and two panda cubs.
The pro-heterosexual marriage rally was organized by the Taiwan Happy Family Alliance – a coalition of Christian churches – and they claim 20,000 people attended their rally.
Taiwanese media did not give estimates for the number of people protesting for same-sex marriage.
However supporters of marriage equality were joined by two Taiwanese Tibetan Buddhist nuns who had come to show their support.
‘Marriage is not an option for us Buddhist clergy, however, we would like to say that everyone should be treated with respect and everyone’s choices should be respected,’ nun Lobsang Nelug told the Taipei Times.
Some of the protestors who were in the square to support efforts to legalize same-sex marriages also tried to join the ‘Happy Family’ rally to show they also supported family values but were pushed back by church volunteers with placards with slogans including ‘no sex before marriage,’ and ‘protect children.’
Organizers of the Happy Family rally eventually agreed to allow a group of around 100 same-sex marriage supporters into their rally on the condition that they sat quietly like other attendees but there were more scuffles as ‘pro-family’ protesters tried to stop them from even doing that.