Taiwan gay pride: Thousands throng Taipei streets

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Participants hold a giant rainbow flag as they take part in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride parade in Taipei, Taiwan on 29 October 2016.Image source, Reuters
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The rainbow flag, which represents the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, was visible across Taipei on Saturday

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Taiwan's capital, Taipei, to participate in Asia's biggest gay pride parade.

Many of those who attended carried placards calling on the government to legalise same sex marriage.

Dressed in colourful costumes and carrying rainbow flags, they paraded in front of Taiwan's presidential palace.

Taiwan is more liberal than much of Asia on LGBT rights but moves toward marriage equality have stalled.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which controls Taiwan's parliament and took power five months ago, is widely considered sympathetic to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Image source, AFP
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Taiwan is regarded as one of the most progressive countries in the region

Many are hopeful that same-sex marriage will become a reality under the DPP.

Earlier this week, the DPP announced new measures to allow homosexual party employees the same honeymoon leave and wedding gift entitlement that heterosexual couples get, the Taipei Times reports.

"The call for marriage equality feels stronger than last year," Corinne Chiang, who works in IT, told the AFP news agency.

"We hope same-sex marriage can be realised as soon as possible so our child can have two legal moms."

Image source, Reuters
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Colourful costumes, including swimsuits, wedding dresses and loin cloths, were on display
Image source, AFP
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People from across the region, including these South Koreans, took part in the march
Image source, AFP
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Participants brought out their finery

Proposals for gay marriage in Taiwan have stalled in recent years because of resistance from the Kuomintang (KMT) party, which was unseated by the DPP in May.

But the new president, Tsai Ing-wen, has voiced her support for same-sex marriage and parliament is expected to consider fresh proposals on the issue soon.

If it goes into force, Taiwan will become the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.