Connect to share and comment

Taiwan same-sex Buddhist wedding goes off without a hitch

Nuptials between two women mark first such same-sex Buddhist ceremony in Taiwan

Gay marriage lesbian wedding taiwan buddhist 7 12 2012Enlarge
A same sex couple cut a cake during a mass 'wedding' party event in Taipei on August 21, 2011. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images)

It's another milestone for LGBT rights: on Saturday, two women got married in a traditional Buddhist ceremony in Taiwan, already one of Asia's more gay-friendly nations. 

The GlobalPost reported in July that 30-year-old couple Fish Huang and You Ya-ting intended to marry at a Buddhist monastery in the northern Taiwanese county of Taoyuan. 

The two women wore traditional white wedding gowns, and opted to exchange prayer beads instead of rings in front of a statue of the Buddha, reports AFP. 

"We are witnessing history. The two women are willing to stand out and fight for their fate... to overcome social discrimination," female Buddhist master Shih Chao-hui told AFP, who presided over the wedding. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Same-sex marriage under consideration in Vietnam 

"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 women's parents chose not to attend the ceremony, however, AFP added. 

“I think this is their human right. They can choose freely to get married and we should respect them,” Buddhist nun and wedding attendee Chih Chun told the Jakarta Globe. 

“It makes no difference if couples are heterosexual or homosexual, as long as they are in love and they are happy.”

Although Taiwan has yet to legalize gay marriage, the nation appears to be at least contemplating the idea, says the Jakarta Globe. Taiwan already hosts the largest, most flamboyant gay pride parade in Asia. 

And Taiwan isn't alone: in July, the GlobalPost reported that even Vietnam has taken the matter of gay marriage into consideration. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120813/taiwan-same-sex-buddhist-wedding-goes-without-hitch