Although the draft bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Taiwan is still pending, three couples in Taichung who couldn’t wait any longer tied the knot on Tuesday in front of crowds of cheering supporters at the Luce Memorial Chapel on Tunghai University’s campus. The vows mark what are believed to be the first Christian same-sex weddings in Taiwan.
According to Focus Taiwan, the three couples exchanged wedding vows before Elias Tseng, Taiwan’s first openly gay pastor.
“I have a small mind. There is only enough room for you,” one of the lesbian couples said as her wedding vow, which moved some of the audience, including Chen Chia-chun, the wife of former opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Shih Ming-teh.
“I think people should be given equal rights in front of the law, and if heterosexual couples are allowed to have happiness, gay people should also be allowed the same right,” said Milly Hou, an organizer of the ceremony.
Taiwan’s first religious same-sex wedding took place a year ago in a Buddhist ceremony. Tuesday’s event was believed to be the first same-sex wedding at a Christian church in Taiwan, although it has no validity in front of the law.
The Taiwan GDi Association along with Taiwan LGBT Pride organized a parade at the school ahead of the ceremonies to show support for the event and for the draft bill, which would also allow same-sex couples to adopt.
The day before, over 20,000 fans showed up to a free concert held by Taiwanese pop star A-mei in support of gay rights. A-mei, a long-advocate of LGBT rights in Taiwan, paid the NT$3 million from her pocket to cover the costs.
[Images via lihpao.com // takungpao.com]