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TAIWAN - Sep 19, 2006

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou officiated at a ceremony this week marking the opening of Taipei's 2006 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) festival as well as the beginning of the city's LGBT civil rights movement.

Addressing the opening, Ma said it is hoped that by holding the festival, alternately titled the "LGBT Civil Rights Movement," Taipei will become a society that has peace, compassion and respect for all voices and cultures. It is also hoped that Taipei will become bigger and greater by showing its commitment to multicultural tolerance, Ma added.

Ma announced the start of the annual Taipei LGBT civil rights movement by giving out a rainbow flag to participants after the ceremony was held in front of Taipei City Hall.

The rainbow flag was a gift from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson, who wrote to congratulate the city government for the Taipei LGBT Festival and work promoting human rights and in particular LGBT rights.

The rainbow-flag-raising ceremony was followed by three different forums to map various aspects of Taipei's LGBT movement. All forums took place in the Taipei City Council's main assembly hall.

-- The China Post


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