First public lesbian Buddhist wedding planned for next month in northern Taiwan
A lesbian couple in Taiwan are planning the country’s first Buddhist same-sex wedding.
Fish Huang, 30, said she wanted to marry her partner of seven years to raise awareness about sexual minorities in Taiwan, Taipei Times reports.
‘We are not only doing it for ourselves,’ said Huang. ‘But also for other gays and lesbians.’
Social worker Huang said she decided she wanted to get married after seeing a film about a lesbian who was denied spousal benefits after her partner died.
The ceremony on 11 August at a Buddhist temple in Taoyuan County will consist of blessings by monks and nuns, chanting and lectures about marriage. Both women will wear white wedding gowns.
The wedding will not be legally recognized in Taiwan as same-sex marriage is not allowed in the island nation.
The host of the ceremony will be buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei, who is also a feminist scholar at Hsuan Chuang University in Hsinchu, Taiwan. She said:
‘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?’
Huang said: ‘it is meaningful to us that our wedding can give hope to other homosexuals and help heterosexuals understand how Buddhism views sexuality’.
Gay couple Chen Ching-hsueh and Kao Chih-wei tried to register their marriage at a Taiwanese registry office in March this year, but they were denied. They eventually suspended their fight due to fears about inheritance rights.
Activists Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) are campaigning to the government to adopt a new marriage bill that recognizes the rights of same-sex couples to wed.