A wedding with two beautiful Buddhist brides
A lovely wedding – truly a family affair
Two women in veils and voluminous white gowns kneel in front of a statue of the Buddha, exchanging vows and prayer beads to the languorous intonations of Buddhist chants.
This unconventional ceremony on Saturday was the first same-sex Buddhist wedding held in Taiwan, where a landmark bill to legalize same-sex marriage has been pending since 2003…
Huang Mei-yu said she and her partner of seven years, Yu Ya-ting, decided to hold a Buddhist wedding to acknowledge their own faith, as well the predominant religion of the nation, according to the Taipei Times newspaper. They hoped the ceremony, which was performed by a renowned Buddhist master, would encourage Taiwanese society to accept same-sex marriage.
“Of course it helps (promote same-sex marriage), said Wu Hsiao-wen, Secretary of the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy, saying that the ceremony set a strong example for the Buddhist community. She added that its legitimacy was bolstered in the public’s eyes by its blessing from Shih Chao-hwei, a highly-respected Buddhist social activist, who presided over the ceremony. Shih founded the Hong-Shih Buddhist College and the Research Centre for Applied Ethics at Hsuan Chuang University…
Taiwan was the first nation in Asia to introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. Drafted in 2003 under former president Chen Shui-bian, it has made little headway in Taiwan’s legislature, however.
“I remember when I told my parents that we would get married, their first question was, ‘Is this legal?’” Huang told reporters at her wedding. “I could only say to them that it would (become legal) soon, but I didn’t know when would be considered soon. So we hope it will become legal. For us and for our families, it is very important.”
Someday, somewhere on this silly little planet, there will be a schoolchild asking, “Why must we study this ancient history of societies where civil rights didn’t exist for every citizen?”
Not in my lifetime. But, it will come to be. We may be a species that is surprisingly slow to learn and change; but, we have that capacity and it is irrevocable.