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Taiwan: Thousands march for pride and gay marriage

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — Taipei's streets played host to thousands of people who turned out last weekend for Taiwan's 10th annual gay pride celebration and demanded the legalization of same-sex marriage.

"Gay people are also tax-paying citizens, and we demand the same basic right as any heterosexual couple," says Mu Chuan, one of the event's organizers.

Advocacy groups have launched a campaign to collect one million signatures in support of legislation drafted on the issue to be sent to parliament next year, Radio Australia reports.

Two 30-year-old women from Taipei married Aug 11 in Taiwan’s first gay Buddhist wedding ceremony. Huang Meiyu and You Yating exchanged prayer beads in front of about 250 guests at the Hongshi Buddhist Seminary in the lush farmland outside Taipei. Guests included Buddhist classmates, journalists, monks, and gays and lesbians from across Taiwan.

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