Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) A pop music concert was held in Taipei Saturday in support of legalizing same-sex marriage, attracting an audience of about 150,000 that gathered to hear performances by stars from home and abroad, according to the organizers.
The show on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office opened with the popular song Don't Give Up by indigenous singer-songwriter Suming Rupi's (舒米恩) in the Amis language.
Addressing the crowd, Suming said he hoped the right to marry would be extended to all people in Taiwan.
Other performers at the concert included Philippine pop chanteuse Sandee Chan (陳珊妮), Hong Kong Canto-pop singer Denise Ho (何韻詩) and Taiwanese Mandopop singer Dai Ailing (戴愛玲).
Meanwhile, three of Taiwan's top pop stars, A-mei (張惠妹), Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) and Elva Hsiao (蕭亞軒), recorded video messages that were played at the concert.
A-mei, a staunch supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage, funded the design of a flag that was handed out at the concert, according to the organizers, the Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBT) Hotline Association and the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy.
The concert was held a week after civic groups took to the streets in northern, central and southern Taiwan in protest against a series of same-sex marriage bills that are before the Legislature. The protesters argued that the draft amendments to the Civil Code are contrary to traditional family values.
Before the start of Saturday's concerts, civic groups for and against same-sex marriage held two separate press conferences to present their views on the issue.
Those that advocate same-sex marriage said they have launched a signature drive for a petition to legalize same-sex marriage.
On the other side of the issue, the Protection of Family Value Students Organization and similar groups said they have long been bullied by supporters of same-sex marriage and they called for a national referendum on same-sex marriage.
Shih Chun-yu (施俊宇), a Fu Jen Catholic University student and head of the Protection of Family Value Students Organization, said that many people who oppose same-sex marriage dare not express their views because of bullying.
Shih said that while people have the right to seek legalization of same-sex marriage, others also have the right to express opposition.
(By Chen Chih-chung, Yu Hsia-han, Liu Kuan-ting and Evelyn Kao)