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ASIA - Oct 17, 2004

November 6 has been announced as the date for Taipei's 2004 Pride March. This year's theme is "Awaking Awareness of Citizenship". Despite withdrawal of financial support from the city government, organizers have issued a call to come out in public to support recent advances in GLBT rights in Taiwan.

"In the midst of this political climate, gays and lesbians are still determined to march on the streets of Taipei. We don't want our capital city's rainbow-colored fire to expire. We are citizens of Taipei, and we are also gays and lesbians. Homosexuality isn't just a decision about who to share our love with, it is the identity we live with everyday as we walk through the streets of our capital city. As citizens, each of us has a duty to personally participate in the life of our city; as citizens of Taiwan, we have a responsibility to teach our society's next generation that difference must be acknowledged and respected. This will be the surest path to a more diverse society."

Marchers will assemble at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial in Taipei and march past 228 Peace Park to the Red Theater in Ximending.

Taiwan's first public gay event took place in Taipei in 1997. The first GLBT pride event with financial support from Taipei city was held in 2000, and in 2003 the first GLBT Pride Parade took to the streets.

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