TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In Taipei on Saturday (Oct. 26), more than a dozen foreign representative offices in Taiwan will take part in the annual LGBT parade, the first since the island nation legalized same-sex marriage in May.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the organization for Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) will form a contingent to participate in Saturday’s event, said the de-facto U.S. embassy via a press statement on Friday. Promoting and protecting human rights, including the rights of LGBTI persons, has long been and remains the policy of the United States, said AIT, adding that democracies like the U.S. and Taiwan must uphold the fundamental democratic principle of equality and encourage vibrant civil societies to help ensure dignity for all people.
The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), along with several member states’ representative offices in Taiwan, will also join the parade, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and the U.K. The EETO has also prepared a batch of EU rainbow pins as goodies to give away to participants during the march.
Initiated in 2002, Taipei’s LGBT parade has become the largest in Asia, drawing visitors every year from neighboring countries to join the festive event and experience the island’s vibrant civil society.
The 17th LGBT parade focuses on the theme, “Together, Make Taiwan Better,” which calls for compassion and care among LGBT communities and the general public. Even though Taiwan has legalized same-sex marriage, discrimination and misunderstanding toward LGBT people still exist and this requires constant attention and action in society, said one of the organizers, the Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBT) Hotline Association.
The procession will kick off at the Taipei City Hall Plaza at 13:30 p.m., with participants marching in the heart of Taipei to Ketagalan Boulevard by 16:30 p.m. A “Rainbow Market” will open one hour before the march sets off at the Taipei City Hall area.