Taiwan: New species of snail named in celebration of same-sex marriage
Researchers in Taiwan have taken an unprecedented step in naming a newly discovered species of snail in support of same-sex marriage laws.
The Guardian reports the snail species, dubbed Aegista Diversifamilia, was named to reflect the “diversity of sexual orientation in the animal kingdom.”
A marriage equality bill in Taiwan, proposed by opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers, has been stalled by the Parliament’s judiciary committee since October last year.
However, there has a been recent upsurge of support for the legislation, after an estimated 20,000 people campaigned outside Parliamentary gates last week.
Dr Yen-Chang Lee, who co-authored the study published in Monday’s ZooKeys journal, said: “We decided that maybe this is a good occasion to name the snail to remember the struggle for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights,”
The snail, a land species endemic to Taiwan, was previously thought to be a member of the species Aegista subchinensis.
However, in 2003, Dr Lee noticed there was a difference in the eastern snail type compared to its western counterpart, with a larger and flatter shell.
Not the first time gay people have been compared to the hermaphrodite species, a former Danish government minister in 2012 equated gay rights with ‘killer snails’ plaguing the country.
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