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July 23, 2017

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Anti-gay march met with counter-protest

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Religious conservatives in Taipei City yesterday beat homosexual activists to the punch, leading an anti-gay march ahead of next week's scheduled gay liberation parade, local media reported.

The event saw attendance by over 2,000 members of various Christian denominations including Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist groups, said a report by the Central News Agency (CNA).

Gay rights supporters did not shy away from a counter-protest, with many of them carrying crosses, a symbol of burden, on their backs, said the report.

Christian march participants not only involved those residing in Taiwan, but also the faithful from Hong Kong, Macau, United States and Canada, the report said.

The group congregated in front of the Office of the President yesterday afternoon before traveling to Liberty Square, where a mass prayer meeting was held to propagate the message of "purifying the skies of Taiwan."

Presbyterian pastor Chen Yu-chuan was cited as explaining that pro-homosexual groups have been throwing similar events since 2005 under partial funding from the Department of Civil Affairs under the Taipei City Government.

The scheduled gay parade on Oct. 31 expects a turnout of 20,000, said Chen, before adding that it is dubious that the gay population in Taiwan is that large.

He said the march led by Christian followers is to assist people in walking out of homosexuality as well as to provide counseling.

The growing gay demographic has caused young adults to now carry skewed perspectives towards gender and marriage, breaking hearts of many concerned parents along the way, Chen added.

Guo Sheng-jie, a member of the team organizing next week's "All My Gay" parade, pointed out that the religious march equates to crucifying homosexuals.

To ensure that the other side of the debate is also heard, a clergyman was enlisted alongside picketers to preach to conservatives to embrace all of God's children including the gay community, said the CNA. Pro-homosexual groups will issue a formal response addressing the march later today, Guo said.

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