Director supports same-sex marriage ahead of referendums

11/23/2018 07:20 PM
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Photo taken from Tsai Ming-liang
Photo taken from Tsai Ming-liang's Facebook page.

Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) Renowned Taiwan-based film director Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) on Thursday and Friday lobbied for same-sex marriage ahead of five referendums on homosexual related issues to be held Saturday.

Referring to himself as gay at a workshop for the 2018 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival on Thursday, the 61-year-old Tsai, who won the Golden Horse best director award in 1994 and 2013, expressed his support for same-sex marriage by sharing stories from his life.

Recalling "falling in love" with a boy classmate when he was a third and fourth grader, he said the feeling was every bit as strong and intense as that experienced by adult couples.

On Friday, Tsai wrote on his Facebook page that he was not angered by those calling him "dirty" and "disgusting" online, but rather felt sorry for them because it is bad to curse people, especially when children are watching.

He praised the referendums as a positive way for people to express their opinions, adding that there is no need to use foul language when fighting for what you want.

Urging voters to cast their ballots in the referendums, the Malaysian-born filmmaker said in the FB post: "no matter what you stand for, just go vote. Value your vote."

In conclusion Tsai wrote: "I am not dirty nor disgusting. I am just a gay man" who he said has lived with a heterosexual man for nearly 30 years. "I feel that (our life is) beautiful and hope the world will become a better place."

Tsai's proclamation in support of same-sex marriage came after similar statements from Cloud Gate Dance Theatre founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民) and reputed writers Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇) and Huang Chun-ming (黃春明) from the Chinese language society.

Two of the five referendums on homosexual issues ask voters the question: "Do you agree that the Civil Code marriage regulations should be used to guarantee the rights of same sex couples to get married?"

The other question is: "Do you agree that gender equity education as defined in 'the Gender Equity Education Act' should be taught at all stages of the national curriculum and that such education should cover courses on emotional education, sex education and gay and lesbian education?"

The other three referendums were proposed by opponents and ask: "Do you agree that Civil Code regulations should restrict marriage to being between a man and a woman?" and "Do you agree to types of unions, other than those stated in the marriage regulations in the Civil Code, to protect the rights of same-sex couples who live together permanently?"

The third question is "Do you agree that the Ministry of Education and individual schools should not teach homosexual-related education, as detailed under the Enforcement Rules for the Gender Equity Education Act, in elementary and middle level schools?"

(By Sabine Cheng and Elizabeth Hsu)


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