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Students cover their school in rainbow flags in pro-LGBTI protest in Taiwan

Students cover their school in rainbow flags in pro-LGBTI protest in Taiwan

a multi level building with multiple rainbow flags hanging over the railings

Students in Taiwan’s second biggest city hung rainbow flags outside their classroom to protest the cancellation of LGBTI classes.

High school students Ruei-Siang Senior High School in Kaohsiung protested after the school cancelled a planned lecture about LGBTI issues. The school reportedly cancelled the lecture following complaints from parents.

Just days before the scheduled date of the lecture, the school postponed it claiming it needed to review the teaching materials.

But a group of teachers and students believed the school postponed the lecture because of its LGBTI content and parents’ complaints.

So the group decided to hang several rainbow flags across the railings of the multi-storied school.

Students also waved rainbow flags at a school assembly.

children sitting on the ground, some are draped in rainbow flags while others wave the flag on a flag pole
Students at a school in Taiwan that a LGBTI lecture was not going ahead. | Photo: Supplied

The school’s Parents’ Association claimed it did not have a problem with the lecture’s LGBTI content but reserved the right to review the teaching materials.

It has given the green light for the lecture to go ahead on 30 May, according to local media.

Taiwan needs better LGBTI education

Taiwan is the most progressive nation in Asia when it comes to LGBTI rights. Last year, it became the first country to approve same-sex marriage.

Its Constitutional Court ruled it was unconstitutional to not prevent same-sex couples from getting married. The court gave Taiwan’s lawmakers two years to make a law allowing marriage equality.

But last month, Christian groups cleared the first hurdle to hold a referendum to reverse the decision. The groups want to ask Taiwan’s population if it agrees with same-sex marriage.

LGBTI advocates have also long fought for better gender and sexuality education in schools. That was supposed to be the next priority for the community after marriage equality. But now they may have to focus on winning a potential referendum.

Earlier this year, the leading LGBTI support organization, the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association released a report reviewing the LGBTI policies in the country.

It found better LGBTI education in schools was critical for reducing discrimination and stigma.

‘The government should invest resource in actively incorporating the idea of gender equity in social education, and also promote LGBTI friendly work environment in all public and private sectors,’ the report concluded