Taiwanese television host Milk Lin (牛奶哥哥(林宗彥)) is in the news (link in Chinese) after a homemade blowjob video his roommate (and blowjob recipient) leaked online. According to QueerClick (NSFW), this is the third time Lin’s same-sexytimes have hit the Internet, though Lin claimed the two previous times — featuring still photos — had been photoshopped. Riiiiiiight.
It got us thinking, though: could his newly outed celebrity help boost gay rights across Asia?
While Taiwan’s closest neighbor, China, doesn’t have the best record with gay rights, Taiwan itself is pretty on-the-ball when it comes to equality: Homosexuality isn’t outlawed there, and while gay marriage is not legal at a national level, the cities of Kaohsiung and Taipei (Taiwan’s capital) allowed gay couples to mark their partners for civil services for the first time this year. The registration, unfortunately, didn’t not extend to health benefits, but that’s still progress.
At Taiwan’s national level, there is a proposal up for voting that would legalize same-sex marriage, though it hasn’t been voted on yet. In fact, it looks like Taiwan is facing some of the same circumstances that led to the legalization of marriage equality in America: The majority of Taiwanese citizens support marriage equality along generational lines, and the Ministry of Justice has advocated the legalization of same-sex marriage as well.
Should Taiwan legalize marriage equality, it would be the first Asian country to do so. Taipei has held pride marches for the past 14 years, and people come from all around Asia to celebrate freedoms there that they don’t have in their home countries. This year’s parade is scheduled for Halloween.
Gay Taiwanese citizens are protected from workplace discrimination, can serve in the military, and Taiwanese textbooks in schools promote tolerance. This is different from most other countries in Asia, like Malaysia, where a gay male (female homosexuality is legal there) can be whipped or spend up to 20 years in prison. Other countries, like Cambodia and Laos have never banned homosexuality, but they don’t have any protections for gay citizens, either, with Cambodia having a constitutional ban against gay marriage. The worst in Asia outside of the Middle East, however, is Brunei, where homosexuality is punished by up to 10 years in prison, or death by stoning.
It remains to be seen if Taiwan’s progressive nature will spread throughout the rest of East Asia, especially because of #MilkLin‘s (#牛奶哥哥 (#林宗彥)) new outing, but since Taipei is known as Asia’s gay capital, perhaps other nations will see its gay tourism boom and change their policies to attract gay people from abroad to spend their money.
And if you want to see more pics of Milk Lin, check out his Instagram.