2006 Taipei Gay Pride Festival Begins

Taipei Gay PrideTAIPEI, CHINA – Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou officiated at a ceremony yesterday marking the opening of Taipei’s 2006 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) festival as well as the beginning of the city’s LGBT civil rights movement.
Addressing the opening, Ma said it is hoped that by holding the festival, alternately titled the “LGBT Civil Rights Movement,” Taipei will become a society that has peace, compassion and respect for all voices and cultures.
It is also hoped that Taipei will become bigger and greater by showing its commitment to multicultural tolerance, Ma added.
Ma announced the start of the annual Taipei LGBT civil rights movement by giving out a rainbow flag to participants after the ceremony was held in front of Taipei City Hall.
The rainbow flag was a gift from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson, who wrote to congratulate the city government for the Taipei LGBT Festival and work promoting human rights and in particular LGBT rights.
Newson has strived to promote the welfare of San Francisco’s gay community since his election. His efforts have made San Francisco a strong example in the world in promoting gay marriage and rights.
With the involvement of city officials, San Francisco’s LGBT movement is no longer based on an individual’s quest for identity, but a collective effort on achieving true human rights and equal rights, said Chung Che-liang, commissioner of the city’s Department of Civil Affairs.
With a similar aspiration toward becoming a world-class metropolis with a prosperous, multicultural atmosphere, the Taipei city government has a lot more to learn about its LGBT residents and their needs, Chung said.
Although Taipei has a long way to catch up, it is now the best city in all of Asia in terms of a LGBT rights movement and protection, Chung said.
The rainbow-flag-raising ceremony was followed by three different forums to map various aspects of Taipei’s LGBT movement. All forums took place in the Taipei City Council’s main assembly hall.
Taipei began to sponsor Taiwan’s first LGBT Festival in 2000.
from The China Post

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