Taiwan couple in same-sex Buddhist wedding

Two women tied the knot on Saturday in Taiwan's first same-sex Buddhist wedding, a move rights groups hope will help make the island become the first place in Asia to legalise gay marriage.

Fish Huang and her partner You Ya-ting, both wearing traditional white bridal gowns, said "I do" in front of a Buddha statue and exchanged prayer beads rather than rings in a monastery in Taoyuan, in northern Taiwan.

Nearly 300 Buddhists chanted sutras to seek blessings for the couple, both aged 30.

Shih Chao-hui, a female Buddhist master who presided over the ritual, hailed it as a historic moment.

"We are witnessing history. The two women are willing to stand out and fight for their fate... to overcome social discrimination," said Shih, a well-known advocate for social justice.

"Some people might find it astounding (a woman performing the ceremony) but Buddhism does not engage in ideological struggles and I am used to strange looks from my own experience in the social movement," she said.

The couple's parents were notably absent from the ceremony, in an indication of the pressure facing some homosexuals and their families.

"Our parents initially agreed to attend and they regret that they couldn't be here. We understand that people have different acceptance of media exposure and we want to give them more space," Huang said shortly before the wedding.

"We hope with the master's support, the wedding will change many people's perspective even though it is not legally binding," said the social worker. "We hope the government can legalise same-sex marriage soon."

Taiwan is one of the most culturally liberal societies in East Asia, and gay and lesbian groups have been urging the government for years to make same-sex unions legal.

Aiming to create awareness about the issue, about 80 lesbian couples tied the knot last year in Taiwan's biggest same-sex wedding party, attracting about 1,000 friends, relatives and curious onlookers.

Taiwan's cabinet in 2003 drafted a controversial bill to legalise same-sex marriage and allow homosexual couples to adopt children.

However, President Ma Ying-jeou has said public consensus was needed before the government can move ahead with the law.

Gay rights groups drafted a new bill earlier this year and urged Ma to push for its legislation before his term ends in 2016.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Most Popular

  • Yuck, Your Toothbrush is a Fecal-Matter Magnet and the Truth Behind 4 Other Common Germ Myths

    Yuck, Your Toothbrush is a Fecal-Matter Magnet and the Truth Behind 4 Other Common Germ Myths

    Healthy Living - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 9:32 PM PHT
    Yuck, Your Toothbrush is a Fecal-Matter Magnet and the Truth Behind 4 Other Common Germ Myths

    You Can Catch STDs From a Toilet Seat Unless you're having sex on said toilet seat, there's no need to worry about catching a disease on one. Bacterial and viral STDs begin to die the second they leave your body, and upon hitting a cold, hard toilet seat, they promptly kick the bucket. The only STDs that could theoretically be passed from toilet seat to body are parasitic ones (think: lice and crabs). …

  • Why You Should Be Using Rose-Hip Seed Oil on Your Face (Like Miranda Kerr!)

    Why You Should Be Using Rose-Hip Seed Oil on Your Face (Like Miranda Kerr!)

    Healthy Living - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 6:07 AM PHT
    Why You Should Be Using Rose-Hip Seed Oil on Your Face (Like Miranda Kerr!)

    A few months ago Miranda Kerr announced that she uses rose-hip seed oil on her skin every night before bed. …

  • 4 Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

    4 Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

    Healthy Living - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 1:00 AM PHT
    4 Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

    Tossing and turning when all you want is to snooze? Here's how to shut off your mind fast. …

  • 8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss Program

    8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss Program

    Healthy Living - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 1:53 AM PHT
    8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss Program

    Like most things in life, before you start a weight loss program you need to prepare. I know there are a lot of you out there who probably had "lose weight" as one of your New Year's resolutions, whether you wrote it down or just said it to yourself in your head doesn't matter, it was still something you wanted to do. But more than half of you have either not gotten out of the starting gate yet or did, but didn't make it past the first lap. Don't worry, you aren't alone. Losing weight has been …

  • 2014 Holy Week mall schedule

    2014 Holy Week mall schedule

    Yahoo Southeast Asia SHE - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:19 PM PHT
    2014 Holy Week mall schedule

    Before you head for the mall or the grocery during the Holy Week, consult this guide. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options