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Following Taipei, Kaohsiung was the second Taiwanese city to organize a gay pride parade — and it marched into its seventh year on Nov. 26. This year’s parade had tens of thousands marching, breaking its previous record.
Implementing Equal Rights
The parade continued to appeal for equal rights; this time the focus was on urging the government to implement both the Act of Gender Equality in Employment and the Gender Education Equality Act, promoting equality at the workplace and at school.
In addition to the Taiwanese flag, the rainbow flag was also raised in celebration; after all, Kaohsiung is one of the pioneering cities when it comes to promoting human rights. The city was the first in the country to allow same-sex couples to register as partners. Mayor Chu Chen explicitly expressed her support for gay rights, saying that “Love is a human right.”
In 2004, a junior high schooler, bullied for his effeminate disposition, was found dead in the restroom at school. His mother, Mrs. Yeh, chose to stand up to fight for those like her son. This year, she again took the stage at the parade, calling out to the audience, “Children, do not be discouraged. Fight on, for marriage equality.” She chose to participate this year because she had been enraged by all kinds of ridiculous rhetoric and comments from those against marriage equality.
She said, “I feel furious because our government, our society has let you down. The society owes a lot to you and fails to provide you with even the most fundamental human right.”
Besides Mrs. Yeh, the Youth Alliance of the Presbyterian Church was also present, standing by the gay community as Christians. They said that anti-gay comments from certain Christian groups are by no means representative of the voice of every Christian. The Presbyterian Church has, in the past ten years, followed Christ’s example, standing by the minority groups and fighting for their rights and equality.
The end of the parade is only the starting point of another journey for equal rights. Regardless of your sexual orientation, do what you can to fight for equal rights — don’t let small-minded prejudice win.