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10 Aug 2018

Shunning External Pressure, Taiwan Flies Flag at Gay Games

Athletes from other countries displayed the Taiwanese flag in solidarity, despite calls for it to be left out of the opening ceremony.

Athletes from Taiwan flew their nation's flag at the Gay Games in Paris this week, even though Chinese officials had reportedly made it known to event staff that they wanted the flag not to be shown.

The Hong Kong Free Press wrote that "dozens" of Taiwanese flags of all sizes were visible during the opening ceremonies at Jean Bouin Stadium on Monday. Athletes from France, the US, and the Philippines reportedly waved Taiwan's flag in solidarity.

A banner was also seen commending Taiwan on being "the 1st Asian country to legalise equal marriage." In 2017, the country's courts ruled that within two years, gay marriage had to be legalised to guarantee rights promised in the constitution.

Last month, the Taiwan Gay Sports and Gay Development Movement Association (TGSDGMA) was notified by the Federation of Gay Games that the government of France had "expressed concern" over the use of Taiwan's flag, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.

TGSDGMA said that they assumed that China had been behind the pressure. The Federation of Gay Games changed references to Taiwan to Taipei—the island country's capital—on its website.

Taiwanese athletes said they were "very grateful" for support they received from other Gay Games participants in the face of the controversy.

The Gay Games continues through August 12 and has athletes from more than 90 countries competing.


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