15th annual Pride in Taiwan draws hundreds of thousands
The 15th annual Pride parade to take place in Taipei, Taiwan, has drawn record numbers.
To celebrate the 15th annual parade, organisers estimated that 123,000 people came out on the streets.
The first Pride event took place in 2003 in Taipei.
At 1pm today, the parade reached its main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard.
More than 160 groups participated in Pride this year including American, Japanese and South Korean groups.
A two hour parade ended with speeches which went through until 7.30pm local time.
Taiwan LGBT Pride Community, which organises the event, used it to promote inclusive sex education.
The group says all students should have access to inclusive sex education especially including same-sex relationships.
The Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association said that better sex education will lead to more acceptance.
Also today, the Premier of Taiwan said that he intends for same-sex marriage legislation to be in the country’s parliament by the end of this year.
Earlier this year, Taiwan became the first Asian country to order its parliament to legalise same-sex marriage.
The highest court in the land in May ruled that Article 972 of the Civil Code, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.
And now Premier Lai Ching-te has said Executive Yuan will attempt to have a same-sex marriage bill filed by the end of the current legislative session.
Since the ruling, the parliament will now be forced to amend the laws or pass new ones to formalise the decision in favour of marriage equality.
The case leading to the ruling was brought to the court by LGBT rights campaigner Chi Chia-wei.
The long-serving gay activist attempted registering his marriage to his male partner in 2013, but was rejected.
He responded by petitioning for the case to be heard, prompting a legal struggle.
His case was helped by municipal authorities in Taipei seeking clarity over other same-sex marriage requests.
The issue of same-sex marriage has been widely and hotly debated in the country over the past year.
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The protest which was held in Taipei was organised in association with the Rescue Taiwan Hope Alliance, a homophobic group working to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Protesters held signs showing pro-LGBT politicians as scorpions, snakes and tarantulas.
Religious groups have also been at the forefront of opposing to the shift towards equality.