(AFP) – Aug 9, 2011
TAIPEI — About 60 lesbian couples will tie the knot in Taiwan's biggest same-sex mass wedding in the hope that the island will soon follow New York to legalise gay marriage, an organiser said Tuesday.
Around 1,000 people have purchased tickets for the private event, which will take place at an overnight party in Taipei later this month, including visitors from China, Thailand and the US, said organiser AJ Wang.
"We are celebrating the recent legalisation of gay marriage in New York and we hope that Taiwan will make the same move in the near future," she said.
"We also want the public to see that so many gay couples are committed to each other and they deserve to be recognised and treated fairly."
New York became the sixth and most populous US state to approve gay marriage in late June, with 659 same-sex couples tying the knot on the first day the law took effect.
Even though gay marriage is not legal in Taiwan, the organisers do not expect a government crackdown.
Taiwan is becoming more open-minded towards its homosexual population, and the island's gay rights groups last year said they had hosted Asia's biggest gay pride parade, with a turnout of 30,000.
The cabinet in 2003 drafted a controversial bill to legalise same-sex marriages and allow homosexual couples to adopt children, the first in Asia to promise to do so, but it has not yet been reviewed by parliament.
President Ma Ying-jeou has said that he respected same-sex unions but public consensus was needed to be reached before the government can move ahead with the legislation.
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