Taiwan blames politics for cancellation of global Pride event



Reuters

Taiwan on Friday blamed “political considerations” for the cancellation of WorldPride 2025 Taiwan after saying organizers insisted the word “Taiwan” be removed.

Taiwan participates in global organizations such as the Olympics as “Chinese Taipei”, to avoid political problems with China, which regards the self-governing democratic island as its own territory and bristles at anything that suggests it it is a separate country.

The city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan was set to host WorldPride 2025 Taiwan, after winning the right from global LGBTQ rights group InterPride.

Last year, after an outcry in Taiwan, it dropped a reference to the island as a “region”.

But Kaohsiung organizers said InterPride recently “suddenly” asked them to change the name of the event to “Kaohsiung”, removing the word “Taiwan”.

“After careful evaluation, it is believed that if the event continues, it could harm the interests of Taiwan and the gay community in Taiwan. Therefore, it is decided to terminate the project before the signing of the contract”, have said Kaohsiung organizers.

InterPride said in a statement they were “surprised to hear” the news and although they were disappointed, they respected the decision.

“We were confident that a compromise could have been found with respect to WorldPride’s longstanding tradition of using the name of the host city. We suggested using the name ‘WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan’,” he added.

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry said the event would have been the first WorldPride event to be held in East Asia.

“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed consensus and severed a relationship of cooperation and trust, leading to this outcome,” he said.

“The decision not only fails to respect Taiwan’s rights and diligent efforts, it also harms Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community and goes against the progressive principles espoused by InterPride.”

Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, a first in Asia, and prides itself on its reputation as a bastion of LGBTQ rights and liberalism.

Although same-sex relationships are not illegal in China, same-sex marriage is, and the government has cracked down on depictions of LGBTQ people in the media and the community’s use of social media.

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