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Tea Leaves

Taiwan is embracing marriage equality, and refining its own identity

Island's democratic traditions grow even stronger as it becomes a regional leader for LGBT rights

Taiwanese gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei holds a flag at a rally for marriage equality in Taipei in November 2016. (Photo by Chris Horton)

I met Chi Chia-wei in November 2016 while covering a rally in support of same-sex marriage in Taipei.

Waving a large rainbow flag, and wearing another for good measure, he told me how he had been jailed after coming out as gay in 1986, when Taiwan was nearing the end of four decades of martial law under the Kuomintang. Chi said he was released early by a teary-eyed judge who felt his imprisonment was unjust.

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