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Since the end of martial law in 1987 Taiwan has has seen a growing acceptance of lesbians and gays and the development of an increasingly sophisticated community. Taiwan's first gay pride march was held in March 1988. In February 1990 the first lesbian group was formed and there are now about 30 gay and lesbian organisations.
Lesbian and gay issues generally receive fair coverage in the media. 1996 saw the official registration of a gay newspaper, G&L, and the launch by the government of Taipei of a two hour weekly radio programme for lesbians and gays apparently made possible made possible because Taiwanse society no longer considers homosexuality taboo. Taiwan's first public gay "marriage" also took place in 1996, the couple receiving a letter of congratulations from the mayor of Taipei.
There is as in every country some pockets of prejudice and there has also been concern expressed at police harassment at gay meeting places. For example there was a recent case of improper arrests in a gay sauna where police forced guests to pose for incriminating photos of lewd conduct. The courts threw the case out and paid compensation to the two defendants.
A vibrant gay community has developed in the larger cities of Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung where you will find many bars, clubs and saunas. Whilst Taiwan itself is not a well know tourist destination there is certainly much of interest here for gay and lesbian visitors.
Gay Age of Consent
Lesbian Age of Consent
Straight Age of Consent
Homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private is legal where both parties are over 16.
Taiwan has very progressive laws on its statute books that protect the rights of lesbians and gays but they have never been tested in court. Gays are exempt from the army.
The subject of same-sex marriage has been on the political agenda since 2001. In 2003 the government promised to make them legal as part of its efforts to promote human rights legislation, and unveiled a draft bill that stated stated: "All people are entitled to the rights to get married and form families based on their free wills. The families formed by gays and lesbians can adopt children based on the law." Unfortunately there was insufficient time in the legislative program for the law to be passed and there has since been a change in goverment. Certainly Taiwan has been more progressive on this issue than any other Asian country.
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Taiwan has a tropical climate that is influenced by the monsoons. Summers are hot and humid while winters are mild and short. The best time to visit Taiwan is during the winter months from October to June.
Typhoons from the South China Sea bring heavy rains between July and September. Average annual rainfall is over 2,000 mm in the low lying areas and increases with altitude. Average temperature ranges in Taipei are from 12c to 18c in February to 24c to 34c in July.