188 couples entered matrimony together as part of a mass marriage ceremony conducted in the island nation of Taiwan. The ceremony also included the first instance of two officers marrying same-sex couples in a military ceremony.
“I am hoping to boost the visibility of homosexuals so that people understand we are also just part of everyday life,” said major Wang Wi, who married her new bride in the ceremony.
“We hope our bravery could inspire more fellow soldiers who have concerns to also come out bravely. You are actually not alone,” echoed Chen Ying-hsuan, a combat engineer lieutenant from the nation’s army, and Wi’s new wife.
Taiwan became the first nation in Asia to legalize marriage equality last year. CNN reports the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense has called the mass ceremony “open and progressive,” and hopes that the attention given to the same-sex couples married in the ceremony will continue Taiwan’s images as a beacon of liberal democracy in Asia. The ceremony comes just prior to Taiwan Pride, one of the few Pride celebrations to take place live in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.