Buddhist masters, monks and nuns will join together in northern Taiwan’s Taoyuan county for the nation’s first same-sex Buddhist wedding next month. You Ya-ting and Fish Huang, both 30 years old, will be joined in matrimony by Master Shih Chao-hui on August 11.
According to Dawn.com, Huang, a social worker at a Buddhist cultural foundation, said her mother had promised to attend the event but her father remained undecided.
“My father likes Ya-ting, and he says the marriage will make him feel like he has one more daughter,” Huang said.
“Still, time and again, he has voiced his hope that I marry a man… In fact, my decision to marry Ya-ting is also meant to make him drop the thought.” You’s parents are still reluctant to agree to the planned marriage even though it will have no legal force, Huang said.
In an event aimed at creating awareness about the issue, about 80 lesbian couples tied the knot in August last year in Taiwan’s biggest same-sex wedding party, attracting about 1,000 friends, relatives and curious onlookers.
Master Shih Chao-hui shared, “I would like stand up to give blessings to the couple because I hope my step can embody the spirit of Buddhism spreading compassion throughout the world. As a matter of fact, Buddhist teachings do not discriminate against gays and lesbians and do not consider human desires as a sin although they do call for restraint.”
Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy Group is facilitating the same-sex wedding details. The non-governmental advocacy group originally sprung from a social network of lesbian mothers in 2005 with “the Alliance of Lesbian Mothers” and a work group of “the Oral History of Marginal LGBT in Northern Taiwan.”
The group currently devotes its time to several issues, including: the Gay Marriage Act, Partnership Law, legalization of assisted reproduction, LGBT adoption rights, and LGBT education in elementary and secondary schools. They provide opportunity of interaction for LGBT families by organizing local gatherings and by issuing the Rainbow Family News electronically. To lobby for the legal issues more effectively, they align with other organizations in Taiwan and are an active member of Chinese LALA Alliance, a cross-strait alliance of LGBT organizations from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.