Abused as ‘dirty’, same-sex newlyweds in Taiwan fear backlash

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06/25/2019

Although Jovi Wu and Mindy Chiu made history last month as one of the first lesbian couples in Asia to marry legally, they are fearful that conservatives may reverse Taiwan’s landmark law. The businesswomen and their six-year-old daughter, Allison, were verbally abused when they demonstrated in support of same-sex marriage last year, ahead of a referendum that came after the top court set a two-year deadline for legalization. One woman took a leaflet from Allison, looked at it, threw it on the ground and then called their family “sickening and dirty”, 36-year-old Chiu said from her home in a suburb of Zhongli district, an hour’s drive from Taiwan’s capital, Taipei. “(I asked her) do you have to say this in front of a child – that we are sickening, we are dirty? What we are trying to say is that we’re just the same, like you,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Hundreds of same-sex couples married on May 24 after President Tsai Ing-wen signed into law a bill endorsing same-sex marriage – a controversial move which has divided the self-ruled island, seen as a beacon of liberalism in Asia.

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