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THOUSANDS of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) revellers touched down in Taiwan over the weekend for Taipei's 10th annual Gay Pride event.

According to this report, despite all the colourful festivities (which included a spectacular parade), many of the over 65,000 people in attendance said the event had a more serious aim: marriage equality.

Mu Chuan, one of the organisers of the rally, said:

The theme this year is to fight for equal rights on marriage. Gay people are also tax-paying citizens and we demand the same basic right as any heterosexual couples.

Added Kongpaphop Panya, a 30-year-old Thai resident:

I just want to tell the world we have the right to love equally like others.

Though the country currently does not recognise same-sex marriage, a 2006 poll taken by the National Union of Taiwan Women’s Association Constitutional Reform Alliance, found that 75 percent said they supported legalizing LGBT relationships, with just 25 opposed.

With its reputation as Asia's most liberal city, Taipei has a number of LGBT-relevant sights and attractions, which make it a natural destination for many international visitors from China and Japan.

A landmark bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Taiwan has been pending since 2003. In August, the country hosted the first-ever Buddhist lesbian wedding.

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