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Support soars for gay marriage in Taiwan

Study shows 29 percent of respondents changed views in past decade

Taiwan’s first gay Buddhist wedding ceremony was held in August 2012. Credit: Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy

More than half of Taiwanese citizens now support gay marriage, and 60 percent say the government should respect the rights of gay people, according to a study by the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership.

Only 37 percent of respondents said they are opposed to gay marriage.

The new numbers show rapid change in Taiwanese attitudes toward gay people. A similar study in 2001 showed that only 25 percent of the public supported gay marriage.

In this year’s study, a full 29 percent of respondents said they had changed their minds in favour of gay marriage in the past decade.

As Taiwan Alliance Secretary Jian Zhijie points out, this is not the first time public opinion in Taiwan has changed the traditional definition of marriage. “The reality is, traditional marriage in Taiwan was polygamist and patriarchal,” he says. “The ‘one husband, one wife, until-death-do-us-part’ model is also really a modern idea.”

On Aug 11, 2012, two 30-year-old women from Taipei got married in Taiwan’s first gay Buddhist wedding ceremony.