More than 100,000 people marched in Taiwan to demand marriage equality in December last year. The massive protest, and solidarity rallies around the world, were yet more examples of the strong support that exists for LGBTIQ rights.
If marriage equality is won in Taiwan it will be the first country in Asia to legalise the reform. In Taiwan, like in many parts of the world, marriage equality has majority support. According to Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy around 80% of people in their twenties support marriage equality.
While some commentators have pointed to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the champions of marriage equality, the real pioneers of this movement are LGBTIQ people themselves who have put immense pressure on the government by regularly mobilising people in their thousands.
There are some similarities between Taiwan and Australia in relation to the fight for marriage equality. Like the DPP, the Australian Labor Party has presented itself as champions of marriage equality. But when you look at both parties’ records neither have had the courage to actually implement the reform when they were in power.
Also like here, it is important that the LGBTIQ community in Taiwan links up with other struggles and broadens its demands beyond just marriage equality. It is important to address all the issues that LGBTIQ people face; such as discrimination in relation to employment and housing.
Given that discrimination stems from the profit-driven system of capitalism, the fight for marriage equality should be connected to the fight for system change and for a more equal and democratic society.
Real liberation for LGBTIQ people right across the world can be won if working-class people are united.
By Kai Perry