Fish Huang, 30, said she wanted to marry her partner of seven years to raise awareness about sexual minorities in Taiwan, the Taipei Times reports.
‘We are not only doing it for ourselves,’ said Huang. ‘But also for other gays and lesbians.’
Huang said she decided she wanted to get married after watching a film last year about a lesbian who was denied spousal benefits after her partner died.
“It’s so sad,” said Huang, a social worker.
The wedding ceremony is planned to take place on 11 August at a Buddhist temple in Taoyuan County and will consist of blessings by monks and nuns, chanting and lectures about marriage. Both women will wear white wedding gowns.
The wedding will not be legally recognized in Taiwan as same-sex marriage is not allowed in the island nation.
“It is meaningful to us that our wedding can give hope to other homosexuals and help heterosexuals understand how Buddhism views sexuality,” Huang told the Taipei Times.
Buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei, who is also a professor at Hsuan Chuang University, told the two women that Buddhist teachings do not prohibit homosexual behavior and offered to host the ceremony.
Compared with Western religions, Buddhism on the whole is more tolerant toward homosexuality because there is no concrete rule banning the practice in Buddhist scriptures, Shih said.
“It’s difficult enough to maintain a relationship ... how could you be so stingy as to begrudge a couple for wanting to get married, regardless of their sexual orientation,” the Taipei Times reported.