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December 16, 2014

Kiss took an hour to shoot

The Taiwanese queen of pop Jolin Tsai locks lips with actress Ruby Lin in the music video for her new song, We're All Different, Yet The Same.

The clip is based on the true story of a lesbian couple who have been together for more than 30 years.

However, when one was hospitalized due to old age and required emergency surgery, her partner could not sign the consent form because she was not a legal spouse or family member.

When medical staff asked, 'What is your relationship with the patient?' she could only answer, 'A good friend.'

December 15, 2014

Transgender people in Taiwan still must undergo psychiatric evaluations and surgery before legally changing gender

In December of last year, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) in Taiwan recommended that transgender individuals wishing to change their genders should not have to go through psychiatric evaluations nor be subjected to surgery removing their sex organs.

December 15, 2014

Rainbow run attracts 3,500 participants despite the cold weather

Thousands Saturday morning (13 December) participated in a rainbow run in Taiwan to support gay marriage and equal rights.

About 3,500 LGBTI individuals and allies wrapped up in rainbow scarfs for the 15km morning run in Taipei in spite of the in the chilly 13 Celsius weather.

The event hoped 'to bring attention to social issues related to gender diversity, anti-discrimination and changing the family system to better understand and in support of gay marriage and equal rights.'

December 4, 2014

Department's book on modern marriage says diverse gender identities and same-sex love deserve equal respect and treatment

Taiwan's interior ministry has said gay marriage is 'an inborn right everyone can pursue, despite it being illegal in the country.

After two years of compilation, the department published a book entitled Modern Citizen Marriage on Tuesday (2 December) to 'promote new thinking and practices for compatriots planning weddings.'

The book includes a passage on gay marriage that reads:

'Apart from marriage between a man and woman, diverse gender concepts and gay love should also, in modernity, receive equal respect and treatment.

December 4, 2014

Department's book on modern marriage says diverse gender identities and same-sex love deserve equal respect and treatment

Taiwan's interior ministry has said gay marriage is 'an inborn right everyone can pursue, despite it being illegal in the country.

After two years of compilation, the department published a book entitled Modern Citizen Marriage on Tuesday (2 December) to 'promote new thinking and practices for compatriots planning weddings.'

The book includes a passage on gay marriage that reads:

'Apart from marriage between a man and woman, diverse gender concepts and gay love should also, in modernity, receive equal respect and treatment.

December 3, 2014

Politicians realize today's voters take seriously how gay-friendly they are

Queer politics was never really visible in Taiwan until September last year when the Marriage Equality Bill was incorporated into parliament’s agenda. This year, the political atmosphere has been even more intensified and heightened by the LGBTI rights movement.

People of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are eagerly calling for an LGBTI-friendly government, although not everyone, including LGBTI rights advocates and activists, regards this as a queering of politics.

December 3, 2014

Politicians realize today's voters take seriously how gay-friendly they are

Queer politics was never really visible in Taiwan until September last year when the Marriage Equality Bill was incorporated into parliament’s agenda. This year, the political atmosphere has been even more intensified and heightened by the LGBTI rights movement.

People of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are eagerly calling for an LGBTI-friendly government, although not everyone, including LGBTI rights advocates and activists, regards this as a queering of politics.

November 27, 2014

See more boys in skirts inside

National Taiwan University is calling for male students to wear skirts every day in the month of December to 'break the traditional gender frame.'

The Gender Workshop Society said it was launching 'Men's Skirt Month' to 'eliminate something that society had gender-kidnapped.'

The group added that they hoped transgender and cross-dressing students would 'feel surrounded by supportive friends.'

At the time of writing, 500 students had joined the event on Facebook.

November 13, 2014

Less than 5 per cent seek help from formal institutions

More than half of all LGBTI people in Taiwan have suffered abuse at the hands of a partner, according to a new survey.

The Modern Women's Foundation surveyed 529 LGBTI people aged 15 to 50 between 13 and 27 October and released the results yesterday (12 November).

The survey found that the most common form of abuse was control (51.2 per cent), followed by stalking (49.4 per cent) and attacks or self-harm (24.8 per cent).

November 13, 2014

Less than 5 per cent seek help from formal institutions

More than half of all LGBTI people in Taiwan have suffered abuse at the hands of a partner, according to a new survey.

The Modern Women's Foundation surveyed 529 LGBTI people aged 15 to 50 between 13 and 27 October and released the results yesterday (12 November).

The survey found that the most common form of abuse was control (51.2 per cent), followed by stalking (49.4 per cent) and attacks or self-harm (24.8 per cent).

October 30, 2014

Sean Lien says comments overheated

Taipei mayoral hopeful Sean Lien has enraged LGBTI activists by deleting a pro-gay Facebook post.

The night before Taiwan Pride, Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Lien finally broke his silence on LGBTI rights.

He said he supported the gay marriage bill currently and that if he was elected he would 'protect gay rights and make Taipei a more gender-friendly environment.'

'I hope the central government will place the relevant bills on the legislative agenda for deliberation soon in order to guarantee the rights of our gay friends,' he wrote.

October 25, 2014

Tens of thousands of people turned out at Taiwan’s LGBTI pride march today to push for same-sex marriage to be legalized

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei, Taiwan today to celebrate LGBTI pride (25 October).

The proud revellers also carried a serious message of equality to parliament. They are pushing for same-sex marriage to be recognized by law.

Organizers estimated 50,000 people walked the streets of Taipei in two separate routes before converging again at the end of the march.

Supporters held multicoloured placards with the messages ‘Support gay marriage’ and ‘Walk in Queers’ Shoes’.

October 17, 2014

Legislator Yu Mei-nu called the meeting before she submits her plans to legalize same-sex unions to the government

Christian groups yesterday protested a public hearing on gay marriage and adoption at the Taiwanese parliament in Taipei.

Democratic People's Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu consulted government official, academics and civic groups on both sides of the debate at the Legislative Yuan before preliminary plans to legalize gay marriage are submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

She said the hearing was 'an equal approach to encompass everybody into the constitution.'

October 17, 2014

Legislator Yu Mei-nu called the meeting before she submits her plans to legalize same-sex unions to the government

Christian groups yesterday protested a public hearing on gay marriage and adoption at the Taiwanese parliament in Taipei.

Democratic People's Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu consulted government official, academics and civic groups on both sides of the debate at the Legislative Yuan before preliminary plans to legalize gay marriage are submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

She said the hearing was 'an equal approach to encompass everybody into the constitution.'

October 13, 2014

Who needs a rainbow unicorn or a pussycat when you've got the snail?

A new species of snail was named in honor of same-sex marriage, it was announced today (13 October).

Scientists in Taiwan have paid tribute to marriage equality and diverse families by naming a new endemic land snail species after community, saying they believe this snail encapsulates everything in its shell that makes LGBTI people special.

The species was long assumed to be closely related to another species, the Aegista subchinensis.

October 10, 2014

Neil Peng says Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has a 'special relationship' with his closest aide

A Taiwanese court on Wednesday found Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng not guilty of defamation for his repeated calls for President Ma Ying-jeou to admit his 'special relationship' with his closest aide.

Ma's aide, National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung, filed the claim and said he would appeal the ruling.

The author also called King a 'fool,' 'bitch,' 'prostitute' and 'scum.'

September 26, 2014

Activists scored the three candidates on their gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues

LGBTI rights groups said yesterday all three Taipei mayoral candidates lack concrete policies on gay rights.

The candidates were scored on gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues, on a scale ranging from three to minus three points.

Independent candidate Neil Peng received the highest score with 1.5 points, followed by independent candidate Ko Wen-je with minus one.

Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Sean Lien came last with minus three points.

Neil Peng is the only candidate who openly supports gay marriage.

September 25, 2014

Gay film festivals in Sweden and Scotland, a pride parade in Japan and a few prides for LGBTI people of color in the US are just some of the October events you should know about

October is a great month for the global LGBTI movement.

In the USA, communities and allies will be celebrating LGBTI History Month, and marking 11 October as National Coming Out Day.

The states will also celebrate over a dozen gay pride parades, from pride events for LGBTI people of color in Texas to a gay wine event, a Gay Grape Stomp, in Napa Valley just outside San Francisco.

In Asia, we celebrate gay pride in Taiwan and Japan, and Europe sees the 25th anniversary of one of the biggest parties in Belgium.

September 24, 2014

The Marriage Equality Bill has been stalled since October

Six Taiwanese gay couples have had their marriage registrations rejected on Saturday in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

The four gay and two lesbian couples and several LGBTI rights groups brought the required documents to register a marriage to the Household Registration Office, the Liberty Times reported.

However, staff said because of a problem with the adminstrative system only marriages between men and women could be registered.

September 12, 2014

Neil Peng has repeatedly accused the president of having a gay relationship with his closest aide

Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng again called on President Ma Ying-jeou to come out in an online Q&A session despite a pending libel suit against him.

The author and politician said the age of gay stigmatization was over and gay people were just like any other minority such as left-handed people.

He said, 'Today would we discriminate against left-handed people? We not only don't discriminate, we think of them as very valuable, for example [baseball player] Wei-Yin Chen.'

September 9, 2014

Activists fear the gay marriage bill has been shelved indefinitely

More than forty marriage equality and civil rights groups gathered outside the Taiwanese legislature in Taipei this morning calling on lawmakers to pass a marriage equality bill they say has been deliberately set aside.

They also announced a larger protest that will see 99 civil rights groups surround the Legislative Yuan when it reopens on October 5.

August 14, 2014

Chou Shu-chi and Wang Shu-yi are raising twins together but the Taiwanese Government refuses to recognize Wang as a legal guardian of her children as she was not the birth mother

Taiwanese lesbians Chou Shu-chi and Wang Shu-yi are suing the Taiwanese Government after it refused to recognize them both as legal guardians of the twins they are raising together.

The couple have been together for 15 years since meeting in college and four years ago they decided they wanted to start a family so Chou traveled to Canada to undergo an assisted reproduction procedure.

The couple were told there was a 60% chance the procedure would not work so they were blown over when they discovered they were having twins - a boy and a girl.

August 2, 2014

Same-sex marriage activists including 28 gay couples made a dramatic entrance at a household registration office in Taipei on Friday

As part of a campaign seeking same-sex marriage to be legalized in Taiwan, 28 same-sex couples – accompanied by activists from the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) – walked into Zhongzheng District Household Registration Office in Taipei on Friday and attempted to register their unions.

Taiwan’s Civil Code stipulates that a marriage must be a union between a man and a woman.

July 5, 2014

The greatest opposition to same-sex unions in Taiwan is coming from a small but extremely vocal and organized Christian minority, says Taipei Times report

Given its relatively small numbers, Christian organizations are forming alliances with Taoist and Buddhist groups to influence government policy on same-sex marriage.

The main drivers behind last year's anti-same-sex-marriage demonstration on Nov 30, which attracted tens of thousands of people and reportedly one of the largest mobilizations of Taiwan’s religious groups in recent years, comprised Christian, Taoist and Buddhist groups.