Taiwan to see first-ever openly lesbian council members

Miao Poya (苗博雅) and Lin Ying-Meng (林穎孟) declare victory in Taipei City council race

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(Image courtesy of Miao Poya FB page)

(Image courtesy of Miao Poya FB page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Though people of Taiwan voted to keep the Civil Code unchanged in a Nov. 24 referendum, Taiwan is set to welcome its first-ever openly lesbian council members, and one of them declared her homosexuality years ago.

Miao Poya (苗博雅), 31, who ran in the council race representing the minor Social Democratic Party in Taipei City, declared her victory late Saturday night.

In a live stream speech on her Facebook fan page, Miao said her election will turn a new page in Taiwan's politics, and it is just the beginning, as more challenges are awaiting her.

Miao has been advocating for a number of issues including abolition of the death penalty, judicial reform, gender equality, transitional justice, and labor rights.

Lin Ying-Meng (林穎孟), who ran in the council race on behalf of the New Power Party, also claimed victory early Sunday morning via FB live stream. Apple Daily reported that Lin was in a relationship with Miao many years ago.

Lin thanked supporters, but she also noted that other results showed a rise in conservative power. "More needs to be done in promoting equality," she added.