LGBT rights in Taiwan

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LGBT rights in Taiwan
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
No recognition of same-sex couples
Adoption -
Military service -
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protections (see below)

Taiwan is one of Asia's most progressive countries as far as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights are concerned, not only since the government's plan to introduce same-sex marriage in 2003. Taiwan is also described as the most liberal after approximately 25,000 attended the Taiwan Pride parade in 2009, making it the largest LGBT event in Asia.

Laws against homosexuality

Today, there are no laws against homosexuality. Homosexual sex is legal in Taiwan.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

At the end of October 2003, the executive branch of the Republic of China government (Executive Yuan) proposed legislation granting marriages and the right to adopt to same-sex couples under the Human Rights Basic Law; however it faced opposition among cabinet members and legislators and has been stalled since, and thus not voted on[1][2]. Currently the Republic of China does not have any form of same-sex unions. Should the law pass, the Republic of China would be the first country in Asia to permit same-sex marriage.

Discrimination protections

In 2007 the Republic of China legislature, the Legislative Yuan, passed legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation at work[3]. Discrimination against sexual orientation in education has been banned since 2003 through the Gender Equity Education Act. In March 2010, the Taiwanese Ministry of Education announced that, starting from 2011, school textbooks would include topics on LGBT human rights and non-discrimination. According to the Ministry, the reform seeks to "root out discrimination", since "students should be able to grow up happily in an environment of tolerance and respect"[4]

LGBT life in Taiwan

In the 1970s, some novels regarding homosexuality were published. One of the most prominent writers is Pai Hsien-yung, who introduced gay characters in his novels, the most famous being Crystal Boys. More recently, some gay TV series and movies have been produced and gained great attention among gay communities in both Taiwan and China, including the TV series Crystal Boys, adapted from Pai Hsien-yung's novel by the same title, and the movie Formula 17.

On 1 November 2003 Taiwan Pride, the first gay pride parade in the Chinese-speaking world, was held in Taipei, with over 1,000 people attending [5]. It takes place annually since then, but still, many participants wear masks to hide their identity because homosexuality remains a social taboo in Taiwan. However, the 2008 parade with 18,000 attendees highlights the growing acceptance in Taiwan. (See Taiwan Pride)

In the years 2004 to 2005, the Taiwanese director Ang Lee directed the gay Western film Brokeback Mountain, receiving high critical acclaim and academy awards.

2004 sex party arrests

On 17 January 2004 Taipei's police raided and arrested 93 gay men at a private orgy party, amidst allegations that they were using drugs. Many people in Taiwan were shocked by reports which revealed that nearly one-third of the attendees were HIV positive. These arrests received severe condemnation from the local gay community. This event is now known as the "HOMEPA" (Home Party) by the Taiwanese gay community.

Public opinion

A poll of 6,439 adults released in April, 2006 by the National Union of Taiwan Women's Association/Constitutional Reform Alliance concluded that 75% believe homosexual relations are acceptable, while 25% thought they were unacceptable[6].

See also

  • Homosexuality in China, including Taiwan and mainland China


External links


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