A vocal and highly charged mass of about 65,000 LGBT Taiwanese and their supporters turned out for Asia's largest Pride march on Saturday.
A seminal, singular theme of "Marriage Equality Now" permeated the 12th Annual "Walk in Queers' Shoes" march as celebrants filled the streets of Taipei on Saturday, according to U.K-based Pink News.
Recycling antigay arguments that will sound all too familiar to seasoned LGBT activists, conservatives in Taiwan have tried to equate the battle for equal rights to a clamoring for "special privileges" as a way of putting the general public off the idea of same-sex marriage. But LGBT activists in the affluent island nation are not daunted — nor are they willing to let such tactics go unanswered.
"Conservative forces have been lobbying hard against the bill, and accused us of demanding privileges, when we are asking for equal rights," said Taipei Pride organizer, Albert Yang in an interview with Pink News.
At least one attendee at the event was hopeful that even the most conservative and religious Taiwanese would come around to support equality.
"Equal marriage is a basic human right and I hope the conservative and religious groups will be more tolerant and less narrow-minded," graduate student Wang Chun-ling told PinkNews.
Human rights and LGBT groups have recently staged massive protests at the Taiwanese Parliament building, including one in which 120 groups took to the street, according to PinkNews.
The demonstrations may have helped dislodge a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage that has been stalled in Parliament since October 2013, reports PinkNews. The legislation now must make it out of the Judiciary Committee.
But even so, six same-sex couples saw their applications for marriage licenses rejected in Taiwan in September.
"I hope the parliament will pass the bill soon because we want to have children and we need the legal status and protection," 33-year-old activist Cindy Su told Pink News. "Even though we are married in Canada, legally we are strangers in Taiwan."
Check out these glorious images of Pride and the fight for marriage equality, Taiwan style: