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For the first time, the LGBT community joined the traditional mass wedding ceremony held by the Taiwanese army with two lesbian couples, including two officers, tying the knot.
In a historic celebration, the mass wedding held with 188 couples was reportedly the first time same-sex couples participated at a military ceremony. The homosexual couples stated that their participation stemmed from a sense of responsibility towards representing their community.
"We are hoping that more LGBT people in the military can bravely stand up because our military is very open-minded. In matters of love, everyone will be treated equally," said 27-year-old Chen Ying-Hsuan, an army lieutenant who married Li Li-chen, reported The New Indian Express.
Chen wore a rainbow wristband and said she has always been open about her sexual orientation while serving at the military.
Meanwhile, the other lesbian couple, Yumi Meng, 37, and her wife, Army Major Wang Yi, 36, wiped back tears as they exchanged rings. Meng wore sneakers under her wedding dress, while Wang wore her officer's uniform and both of them carried pride flag throughout the ceremony.
"I really feel that this is a huge breakthrough for the military because before gay people really had to go through a lot," said Amy Chao, Wang's mother.
Taiwan is the only country in Asia to have legalised same-sex marriage, with reportedly more than 4,000 such couples exchanging vows, 69% of them lesbian couples, according to the most recent government data.
"Our attitude is that everyone should be treated equally, and we congratulate each and every couple, and this shows that our military's position is open-minded, progressive and with the times," Lt. Gen. Yang An told reporters at the wedding.
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