Lesbian couple Yi Wang, right, and Yumi Meng pose during a military mass weddings ceremony in Taoyuan city, northern Taiwan, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Two lesbian couples tied the knot in a mass ceremony held by Taiwan’s military on Friday in a historic step for the island. Taiwan is the only place in Asia to have legalized gay marriage, passing legislation in this regard in May 2019.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Lesbian couple Yi Wang, right, and Yumi Meng pose during a military mass weddings ceremony in Taoyuan city, northern Taiwan, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Two lesbian couples tied the knot in a mass ceremony held by Taiwan’s military on Friday in a historic step for the island. Taiwan is the only place in Asia to have legalized gay marriage, passing legislation in this regard in May 2019.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

Two same-sex couples in military marry in first for Taiwan

Only place in Asia to have legalized same-sex marriage

TAOYUAN, Taiwan — Two lesbian couples tied the knot in a mass wedding held by Taiwan’s military on Friday in a historic celebration with their peers.

Taiwan is the only place in Asia to have legalized same-sex marriage, with more than 4,000 such couples marrying since the legislation passed in May 2019. The mass wedding with 188 couples was the first time same-sex couples have been wed and celebrated at a military ceremony.

Both couples viewed their ceremonies with a sense of responsibility towards representing the LGBT community.

“We are hoping that more LGBT people in the military can bravely stand up, because our military is very open-minded. In matters of love, everyone will be treated equally,” said Chen Ying-hsuan, 27, an army lieutenant who married Li Li-chen, 26.

Chen wore a rainbow wristband and said she has always been open about her sexual orientation while serving.

The ceremony at an army base in the northern city of Taoyuan was brief. The couples took part in a parade and then exchanged rings in front of an audience of family members and their senior officers.

Yumi Meng, 37, and her wife, army Maj. Wang Yi, 36, wiped back tears as they exchanged rings. Meng wore sneakers under her wedding dress, while Wang wore her officer’s uniform. They each carried a pride flag throughout the ceremony.

Meng’s parents had not come to the celebration, but in support both of Wang’s parents as well as her teacher came out to support the couple.

“I really feel that this is a huge breakthrough for the military because before gay people really had to go through a lot,” said Amy Chao, mother to Wang. “Perhaps for heterosexual couples, it’s just a paper, but it’s very important for gay couples, if you’re sick or have to have a major surgery, if you don’t have this, then you are nothing, you can’t make a decision.”

Since same-sex marriage became legal in Taiwan, 4,021 such couples have married, with 69% of them lesbian couples, according to the most recent government data.

The military seemed an unlikely institution to be the site of a same-sex marriage, but in recent years has opened up, said Victoria Hsu, the Co-founder of Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights. “We hope this is a good sign to show that the armed forces’ attitude towards the LGBT community is becoming more supportive than before in Taiwan.”

That attitude was on full display Friday as it welcomed dozens of reporters to the wedding.

“Our attitude is that everyone should be treated equally, and we congratulate each and every couple, and this shows that our military’s position is open-minded, progressive and with the times,” Lt. Gen. Yang An told reporters at the wedding.

By The Associated Press

LGBTQ

Just Posted

Rotary Club of Red Deer logo.
Red Deer Rotary Club hosting tree planting event later this month

The Rotary Club of Red Deer will host a tree-planting event later… Continue reading

New admissions have been suspended for Engineering Technology diplomas (Instrumentation, Electrical and Mechanical) and the Transitional Vocational Program at Red Deer College. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Developmentally disabled impacted: Red Deer College suspends program

Transitional Vocational Program comes to an end

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman holds up freedom of information requests that turned up no records. The Opposition requested back-to-school re-entry plan correspondence between Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and school boards, teachers and the media. Photo via Facebook live
NDP renews calls for Alberta gov’t to scrap K-6 draft curriculum

The NDP is once again calling on the Alberta Government to get… Continue reading

Earlier this week Alberta Health Services warned that Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department would be temporarily without physician coverage from May 12, at 6 p.m., to May 13, at 7 a.m. (Photo contributed by the Town of Rocky Mountain House)
Doctors needed in Rocky Mountain House

Emergency department temporarily closed due to doctor shortage

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Insert your name here

Back in the Paleolithic Era when a McDonald’s cheeseburger was 29 cents… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
Job search: Write a request that will get accepted

Last Thursday, when I logged into LinkedIn, I had nine connection requests… Continue reading

T-shirt with vaccine shot. (Contributed photo)
Letter: Hand out T-shirts with vaccine shots

I made myself a graphic T-shirt recently after getting my vaccine shot.… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) as TJ Brodie (78) defends during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Friday, May 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Atletico Ottawa defender Vashon Neufville controls the ball during Atletico Ottawa’s first team practice of their inaugural season in the Canadian Premier League in Ottawa, Wednesday June 3, 2020. The Canadian Premier League plans to kick off its third season mid-June to early July in one location without fans. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie
Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) deflects a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, celebrates a goal with teammates during third period NHL action against the Montreal Canadiens, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 5, 2021. Brown will lead a young Canadian squad into the world hockey championship in Riga, Latvia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Most Read