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Gay rights supporters to raise gigantic rainbow flag on National Day

Gay rights supporters to raise gigantic rainbow flag on National Day

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) This Saturday, as Taiwan's national flag, with a white sun in a blue sky over crimson ground, flutters in the wind across the nation to celebrate the country's National Day, hundreds of people in southern Taiwan will raise a different kind of flag to mark the day. "We are seeking 500 people to hold up a gigantic rainbow flag near the Tainan City government on Saturday, to highlight how gays and lesbians do not have a voice, are not visible, and are not treated as equal citizens in this country," Chien Chih-chieh (???), secretary-general of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, told CNA Thursday. Members of the alliance are currently on a 28-day tour around Taiwan to drum up support for a same-sex marriage bill. They are scheduled to reach Tainan on Saturday and the flag-raising event will be one of the highlights of the tour. Even though the issue of same-sex marriage has drawn a lot of attention in Taiwan and polls have shown a majority supports such unions, the same-sex marriage bill has not been passed "because gays and lesbians don't have power in the political arena," Chien said. But the tide is changing, with at least five openly gay legislative candidates running for a seat in next year's elections, Chien said. "Gay people have learned that if we never engage in politics, we will never be treated as equal citizens and it will be difficult for the same-sex marriage bill to pass," she said. The bill was reviewed for the first time in the committee stage in the Legislative Yuan in December last year, but it has since been stalled largely because of opposition from religious groups. Meanwhile, the rainbow flag that is set to be raised on Saturday is not an ordinary rainbow flag, but one that was used by pop diva A-mei in her "Utopia" concerts earlier this year, Chien said. In each of the concerts, A-mei, a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage and other gay rights, sang "Rainbow" while the 60-meter by 30-meter flag covered the entire audience on the first floor above their heads. The flag quickly became one of the most iconic moments in the singer's concerts. A-mei has gifted the 100-kilogram flag to the alliance after her concert tour, along with a smaller rainbow flag about one-fourth its size, Chien said. If fewer people turned out for the event on Saturday, Chien said her alliance may have the crowd hold up the smaller flag, "which is still quite large." (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-29 06:18 GMT+08:00