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September 23, 2017

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Over 50,000 at gay parade call for same-sex marriage equality

A record of over 50,000 people from across Taiwan and abroad marched through the streets of Taipei yesterday afternoon for the 2012 Taiwan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade.

Participants called for the legalization of same-sex marriage during the parade — the largest event of its kind in Asia, according to the Taiwan LGBT Pride Community, organizer of the event.

The organizer said a record number of over 3,000 foreign LGBT supporters from 23 countries joined the event, which carried the theme "Marriage Revolution — Equal Rights to Marriage, Diversity in Partnership."

Inaugurated in 2003, the annual parade celebrates its 10th edition this year, and the number of participants has rapidly surged over the years from 500 to 50,000, indicating the growing support and recognition of LGBT people in Taiwanese society.

Participants gathered at 1 p.m. on Ketagalan Boulevard and were divided into two groups, with one heading north and the other south before regrouping on the boulevard at the end of their routes.

Several local and foreign musicians and entertainers performed at the event to support the appeal. Gigi Leung, a Hong Kong-born singer, said that love transcends sexual orientation and people should have the right to enjoy happiness.

Marchers carried balloons, rainbow flags and self-made placards with slogans calling for equal rights to marriage. Many dressed in creative costumes, including men wearing bridal gowns and women wearing suits.

Eleven countries have legalized same-sex marriage, but Taiwan, despite claiming to support human rights, has continued to deny homosexual couples such rights, the organizer said.

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