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Taiwan fields gay-friendly candidates

Taipei Independent legislative candidates Lin Cheng-hsiu, left, and Wang Fang-ping, participate in a signature drive for a gay rights petition, at a press conference to list gay-friendly legislators that took place at the NTU Alumni Association on Saturday. PHOTO: CNA

At least these folks are not afraid to be pro-gay. It’s good to see these allies out there in other countries, fighting for gay rights. We are everywhere, no matter what the American Taliban thinks. (Taipei Times):

A minority group called the Tongzhi Hotline Association yesterday published a “Rainbow List” of gay-friendly candidates in Saturday’s legislative elections, hoping to draw out pink voters hidden in the nooks and crannies of Taiwan’s polarized political world.

The association sent out 100 survey forms to all legislative candidates in Taipei City, Taipei County, Taoyuan County and Taichung City, quizzing them on the group’s policy agenda — which includes offering free cocktail drug treatment for those infected with HIV, inclusion of different sexual orientations in the Gender Equality in Employment Law, and a proposed “basic human rights protection” law that would ensure gay people’s right to work, adoption and having a family.

Of the 30 responses the group received, it picked the 14 candidates most likely to address the concerns of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities. The 14 recommended candidates from across the political spectrum signed a white paper proposed by the association and pledged to revise relevant laws should they be elected.

…Lai said that in a society where few gays dare to come out of the closet, the number of pink voters is hard to measure.

Despite the uncertain number of gay voters though, the association said that they still have a chance to tip the balance of power if their preferred candidates are elected.

“Look at the 4,000-strong gay pride parade last month,” Wu said, “Several politicians and legislative candidates showed up to court gay votes. This speaks to the growing potential of pink voters.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding