Post submitted by Saurav Jung Thapa, former Associate Director, HRC Global   

HRC Global was proud to join the 13th Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade in Taipei on Saturday, October 31. Some 80,000 people attended the parade, setting a record as the largest-ever LGBT Pride event in Asia. Last year’s pride had about 65,000 marchers. The next largest pride event in Asia is Pink Dot in Singapore, which attracts approximately 28,000 people each year.

The pride parade came on the heels of the three-day Sixth International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (ILGA) Asia conference, which had attracted hundreds of leading LGBT activists from South, Southeast and East Asia to Taipei. HRC Global’s Ty Cobb and Saurav Jung Thapa were present at the conference and David Yu, HRC Senior Major Gifts Officer, also attended.

Activists from Asian governments, United Nations agencies, European Union and other groups gathered to discuss a host of issues such as marriage equality, transgender issues, intersex issues, laws and policies, religion and LGBT people and the role of national governments in ensuring LGBT human rights.

A notable development on the day of the parade was a statement posted from Tsai Ing-wen, a presidential candidate in Taiwan. She announced her support of marriage equality, stating, “In the face of love, everyone is equal.” Tsai is expected to become Taiwan’s first female president in January 2016.

A bill to pass marriage equality has been stalled in parliament since 2013 and could advance once a new president comes to power. A poll revealed that close to 60 percent of Taiwanese people support marriage equality, despite vociferous opposition from a tiny but influential Christian minority in the majority-Buddhist and Taoist country. Taiwan could become the first Asian country to pass marriage equality. Other Asian countries that are considering marriage equality include Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.

"It's an honor to join Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association to march in Asia's largest Pride," said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. "As all of us know, visibility and coming out are the key to changing hearts and minds. Today you are all changing hearts and minds across Taiwan and Asia. We are proud to join you in your struggle for equal human rights."

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