Taiwan blames politics for cancellation of global Pride event

Taiwan blames politics for cancellation of global Pride event
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Participants march under a giant rainbow flag during the LGBT Pride parade in Taipei, Taiwan, October 26, 2019. REUTERS/Eason Lam

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TAIPEI, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Taiwan on Friday blamed “political considerations” for the cancellation of World Pride 2025 Taiwan after it said organizers had insisted the word “Taiwan” be removed.

Taiwan participates in global organizations such as the Olympics as “Chinese Taipei” to avoid political problems with China, which views the democratically-ruled island as its own territory and bristles at anything that suggests it is a separate country.

The city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan was due to host WorldPride 2025 Taiwan, after winning the right from global LGBTQ rights group InterPride.

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Last year, after an outcry in Taiwan, he removed a reference to the island as a “region,” wording that suggests it is not a country.

But Kaohsiung organizers said InterPride had recently “suddenly” asked them to change the name of the event to “Kaohsiung,” dropping the word “Taiwan.”

“After careful evaluation, it is believed that if the event continues, it may harm the interests of Taiwan and Taiwan’s gay community. Therefore, it is decided to finish the project before signing the contract,” Kaohsiung organizers said. .

InterPride said in a statement that they were “shocked to learn” of the news and, while disappointed, respected the decision.

“We are confident that a compromise could have been reached regarding WorldPride’s long tradition of using the name of the host city. We suggest using the name ‘WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan,'” he added.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the event would have been the first WorldPride event to be held in East Asia.

“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed consensus and broke a relationship of cooperation and trust, which led to this result,” it said.

“The decision not only fails to respect Taiwan’s rights and diligent efforts, but also harms Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community and runs counter to the progressive principles espoused by InterPride.”

Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, a first in Asia, and prides itself on its reputation as a bastion of LGBTQ rights and liberalism.

While same-sex relationships are not illegal in China, same-sex marriage is, and the government has been cracking down on media portrayals of LGBTQ people and the use of social media by community.

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Written by Ben Blanchard; Edited by Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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