Taiwan’s same-sex marriage vote divides families

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11/23/2018

On a sunny day in a park in Taipei, photographer Austin Haung advises a same-sex couple on how to pose for a pre-wedding photo shoot. For him, Taiwan’s reputation as a beacon of liberalism in the region means a thriving business. “Our clients are mostly same-sex couples from overseas, including Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Malaysia,” said 32-year-old Haung, who hopes to turn his side job into a full-time business targeting homosexual newlyweds from across the region. “They said Taiwan is a reassuring place to do the shoot … If they do this in their own country, they worry about being identified or people raising eyebrows,” he said.  On Saturday (Nov 24), Taiwan will hold a series of public votes on whether its civil law should now recognise same-sex marriage, after its election authority approved contradicting referendum petitions from both conservative and rights groups. The issue has divided Taiwan, at family dining room tables, online and on the streets, with large-scale rallies.

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