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Thousands celebrate first Pride parade in Taiwan since legalizing same-sex marriage

Same-sex couples say "I do" in Taiwan

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of Taipei Saturday to mark the first Pride parade since Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage. The island nation prides itself on hosting the largest Pride parades in Asia. 

According to Reuters, more than 2,000 same-sex couples have gotten married since the law went into effect in May. Organizers said more than 200,000 people took part in the colorful parade, which ended outside the Presidential Office. 

"We used to be worried and fearful, but we have accomplished it, so we are all joining the Pride parade with joy," Chi Chia-wei, a famous activist who brought a case to Taiwan's constitutional court that led to a landmark court ruling on same-sex marriage in 2017, told Reuters. 

"We hope you have your glad-rags on, because this year's celebration should be a special one after the passing of #SameSexMarriage legislation, with over 200,000 people expected to attend from all over the world!" Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Facebook.

Although claimed by China as its own territory, Taiwan is a self-governing democracy that has long supported LGBTQ rights. It's the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriage. 

Some parade-goers voiced their support of liberal President Tsai-Ing-wen, who is up for re-election in January. 

"I'll vote for her," 23-year-old Tony Ho told Reuters. "She guards Taiwan's sovereignty and supports the gays. Thank you!"

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Participants jump in a pose while taking part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei on October 26, 2019. SAM YEH / AFP via Getty Images
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Participants pose in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as they take part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei on October 26, 2019. SAM YEH / AFP via Getty Images
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Participants wear stylized rainbow elephant masks as they take part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei on October 26, 2019. SAM YEH / AFP via Getty Images
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