Tens of thousands of people transform Taiwanese capital into a carnival of colour as they take to the streets for Asia’s largest gay pride parade ahead of vote on same-sex marriage

  • Referendums next month that will determine whether same-sex marriages will be recognised on the island
  • In a first for Asia, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage in May 2017
  • Authorities were given two years to either enact or amend relevant laws but little progress has been made 

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Taiwan’s capital for the city’s 16th annual gay pride parade today.

The event was held ahead of referendums next month that will determine whether same-sex marriages will be recognised on the island.

In a first for Asia, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage in May 2017, punctuating a long campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent’s most liberal democracies.

A Japanese gay couple, holding a sign saying in Chinese ‘You Are My Safe Harbour’ at an annual gay pride parade in Taiwan


Tens of thousands of people gathered in Taiwan’s capital, Tapei, ahead of referendums next month that will determine whether same-sex marriages will be recognised on the island


Revellers dress up in the biggest parade of its kind to advocate for same-sex marriage on the island southeast of China

An American man and his Japanese partner kiss among the colourful parade while advocating for gay rights 

Authorities were given two years to either enact or amend relevant laws, failing which same-sex couples could have their marriages recognised by submitting a written document.

But little progress has been made towards implementing the court’s ruling.


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Many activists in Taiwan are bitterly disappointed with President Tsai Ing-wen, who has done little since last year’s court ruling to push lawmakers to pass marriage equality legislation. 

Meanwhile, gay rights and anti-gay rights campaigners have organised referendums that will take place alongside local elections on November 24.

Referendum proposals in Taiwan are put to a public vote if they are supported by 1.5 percent of the electorate – a little over 280,000 signatures. They are also legally binding. 

In a first for Asia, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage in May 2017 as authorities were given two years to either enact or amend relevant laws but little progress has been made

Members of Tokyo Rainbow Pride hold huge rainbow-coloured flags as they join in the parade to support same-sex marriage 

Organisers estimated that 130,000 people took part in the parade in Taipei at the biggest annual gay pride march in Asia

Organisers estimated that 130,000 people took part in the parade in Taipei, the biggest annual gay pride march in Asia.

Wang Zi, a 35-year-old from Beijing, said he supports Taiwan for being a pioneer in gender equality and same-sex marriage in Asia.

‘There should not be boundaries when it comes to love and sex,’ Mr Wang said.

‘I am supporting this. Although I cannot take part in this [referendum], I will support Taiwan with all my might. Go Taiwan. Go marriage equality.’ 

Costumed carnival revellers pose on a street during the annual gay and lesbian parade this Saturday 

Many activists in Taiwan are bitterly disappointed with President Tsai Ing-wen, who has done little since last year’s court ruling to push lawmakers to pass marriage equality legislation

Gay rights and anti-gay rights campaigners have organised referendums that will take place alongside local elections on November 24

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