Taipei is first city in Asia to join global LGBT organization

Taipei City joins Rainbow Cities Network ahead of annual gay pride parade

Taipei City has joined the Rainbow Cities Network, says Mayor Ko Wen-je 

Taipei City has joined the Rainbow Cities Network, says Mayor Ko Wen-je  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Ahead of Saturday’s (Oct. 31) annual Taipei Pride parade, Taipei City announced Tuesday (Oct. 27) it had joined the Rainbow Cities Network (RCN), an alliance of local governments actively protecting and supporting their LGBT residents.

The group includes cities of widely diverging sizes, from Mexico City, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, and Paris to the smaller towns of Kotor in Montenegro, Leuven in Belgium, and Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg.

Taipei is the first city in Asia to join the network, Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Tuesday, as the Taiwanese capital prepares to host its main annual gay rights event, Taipei Pride. Last year, the parade and related events attracted an estimated 200,000 visitors from all over the world, though this year’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is expected to cut numbers as international travel has become more difficult.

Ko signed an agreement with the RCN on Sept. 14, with the organization notifying Taipei on Oct. 7 it had voted to approve its application to join, CNA reported. The Taiwanese capital is the 31st city in the world to become a member of the RCN, the mayor said.

Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage last year, becoming the first Asian country to do so, but the Taipei City Government has emphasized it had been working on improving the rights of the LGBT community for many years before.