For the first time, LGBTI people have participated in the traditional collective wedding of the Taiwanese army. Two lesbian couples, including two officers, have tied the knot.
In Taiwan it is a custom for soldiers to get married at the same time and celebrate with a big party. This year 188 couples gave each other the yes. The Ministry of Defense praises the diversity of the new couples as an “open and progressive step towards the future”.
Last year, Taiwan’s parliament was the first Asian country to agree to the introduction of same-sex marriage. The island state is known as one of the LGBTI-friendly places in Asia. The largest Gay Pride in Asia takes place every year in the capital Taipei. Tomorrow it will be organized for the 18th time.
Since the marriage was opened to all couples, some 4,000 LGBTI marriages have been performed in Taiwan. Last year, three gay couples were supposed to participate in the military mass wedding, but they withdrew.
Major Wang Wi burst into tears after the wedding. “I hope that the visibility of LGBTI people will increase so that everyone understands that we are just part of society,” she told Reuters news agency.
Another bride, Lieutenant Engineer Chen Ying-hsuan, said she hoped soldiers struggling with their sexuality will be inspired by the wedding. “Know that you are not alone.”