LESBIAN BUDDHIST MARRIAGE TO BREAK NEW GROUND
Tue, 10 July 2012
Taiwan's first-ever same-sex Buddhist marriage is set to break new ground and highlight the struggle for marriage equality.
According to the Taipei Times, 30-year-old social worker Fish Huang plans to marry her partner of seven years on 11 August at a Buddhist altar in Taoyuan County.
“We are not only doing it for ourselves, but also for other gays and lesbians,” Huang said in a telephone interview with the Times.
“It is meaningful to us that our wedding can give hope to other homosexuals and help heterosexuals understand how Buddhism views sexuality,” she added.
Buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei, who is also a professor at Hsuan Chuang University, will perform the ceremony.
She said that Buddhist teachings do not prohibit homosexual behaviour.
“It’s difficult enough to maintain a relationship ... how could you be so stingy as to begrudge a couple for wanting to get married, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Shih told the newspaper.
Two men were previously married in Taiwan in 2006. Although this was the first public same-sex marriage in the nation, it was not a Buddhist ceremony.
Neither of these marriages, however, are recognised under the law. Despite an attempt to pass same-sex marriage legislation in 2003, gay and lesbian unions are not currently legal in Taiwan.