Taiwan and EU to hold landmark LGBTI conference

10/23/2019 09:23 PM
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Image taken from Unsplash
Image taken from Unsplash

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) The 2019 EU-Taiwan LGBTI Human Rights Conference, set for Oct. 24-25 in Taipei, will be the first international government-led conference on the topic in Asia, the Executive Yuan said Wednesday.

The conference will bring together 260 representatives from 31 European and Asian countries, as well as officials from the European Union and 22 envoys visiting Taiwan, according to the Executive Yuan's Gender Equality Committee (GEC), one of the forum's sponsors.

Those in attendance will discuss how their respective countries have progressed in the area of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) rights and marriage equality and in building a society that is open to gender diversity, as well as the challenges that still lie ahead, the GEC said in a statement.

Its first day, which will be streamed live online, will feature opening remarks by Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) head Filip Grzegorzewski, five keynote speeches and two panel discussions, the GEC said.

Among those slated to speak are Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), a long-time advocate of marriage equality in Taiwan, and former French parliamentarian Erwann Binet, who helped get France's same-sex marriage bill enacted into law.

Policy exchange workshops will be held on the second day of the conference, which is titled "2019 EU-Taiwan LGBTI Human Rights Conference: Marriage Equality & Protection of LGBTI Rights" and is being co-organized by the GEC, the EETO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Taiwan made history in May as the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. The first pride parade in Taiwan since the same-sex marriage legislation was passed on May 17 will take place on Oct. 26, the day after the conference ends.

(By Elaine Hou and Chiang Yi-ching)


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