SHOWING THE WAY

Photos: Thousands in Taiwan call on their government to be the first in Asia to legalize gay marriage

As Taiwan enters the final stage of a debate over whether to legalize same-sex marriage, supporters of the move have made a final push to convince Taiwan’s lawmakers to pass the relevant legislation.

On Saturday (Dec. 10), supporters of LGBT rights gathered at Ketagalan Boulevard, the main artery around the presidential office. Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, or parliament, is due to review same-sex marriage proposals on Dec. 26, after months of protests by both supporters and opponents as well as public hearings on the move. Organizers estimated that as many as 250,000 people participated, though police estimates were much lower.

If the proposal passes, Taiwan, seen as one of the most progressive places in Asia, could be the first in the region to legalize same-sex marriage. It already hosts the largest gay pride parade in Asia. But the proposal for same-sex marriage faces tough resistance from conservative groups in Taiwan, such as Christians, who argue that doing so harms traditional family values. Opponents of same-sex marriage have also staged their own large-scale protests in recent weeks.

Taiwan Same-Sex Marriage
A protester at a rally supporting a proposal to allow same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Rally to support the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan
Thousands of supporters from the LGBT community gather to support the legalizing of same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 December 2016. (EPA/Ritchie B. Tongo)
Taiwan Same-Sex Marriage
A supporter of LGBT and human rights holds a rainbow flag with a Taiwan map during a rally supporting a proposal to allow same-sex marriage, in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Taiwan Same-Sex Marriage
A couple kiss and hold a marriage certificate during a rally supporting a proposal to allow same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Supporters of same-sex marriage take part in a rally outside Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan
Supporters of same-sex marriage take part in a rally outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan December 10, 2016. (Reuters/Fabian Hamacher)
Rally to support the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan
LGBT rights supporters gather to support the legalizing of same-sex marriage at a major street in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 December 2016. (EPA/Ritchie B. Tongo)
Rally to support the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan
A supporter of same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 December 2016. (EPA/Ritchie B. Tongo)
Taiwan Same-Sex Marriage
A supporter of LGBT rights wears rainbow glasses during a rally to support a proposal to allow same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
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