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Taiwan blames politics for cancellation of global Pride event

Taiwan blames politics for cancellation of global Pride event

Taiwan participates in global organizations like the Olympics as “Chinese Taipei,” to avoid political problems with China, which views the self-governing democratic island as its own territory and bristles at anything that suggests it is a separate country.

Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung had been due to host WorldPride 2025 Taiwan, after winning the right from global LGBTQ rights group InterPride.

Last year after an outcry in Taiwan, it dropped a reference to the island as a “region.”

But the Kaohsiung organizers said InterPride had recently “suddenly” asked them to change the name of the event to “Kaohsiung,” removing the word “Taiwan.”

“After careful evaluation, it is believed that if the event continues, it may harm the interests of Taiwan and the Taiwan gay community. Therefore, it is decided to terminate the project before signing the contract,” said the Kaohsiung organizers.

InterPride said in a statement they were “surprised to learn” the news and while they were disappointed, respected the decision.

“We were confident a compromise could have been reached with respect to the long-standing WorldPride tradition of using the host city name. We suggested using the name ‘WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan’,” it added.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the event would have been the first WorldPride event to be held in East Asia.

“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, has unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed upon consensus and broken a relationship of cooperation and trust, leading to this outcome,” it said.

“Not only does the decision disrespect Taiwan’s rights and diligent efforts, it also harms Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community and runs counter to the progressive principles espoused by InterPride.”

Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, in a first for Asia, and is proud of its reputation as a bastion of LGBTQ rights and liberalism.

While same-sex relations are not illegal in China, same-sex marriage is, and the government has been cracking down depictions of LGBTQ people in the media and of the community’s use of social media.

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Moffatt claims silver medal in men’s slopestyle event despite cancellation of final

Moffatt claims silver medal in men's slopestyle event despite cancellation of final

TIGNES, France – Canada’s Max Moffatt claimed a silver medal in a men’s World Cup slopestyle ski event after high winds forced the cancellation of the final Saturday.

Moffatt won the silver medal based upon his qualifying run Thursday. The Caledon, Ont., native had a score of 87.25 points to qualify for the final.

Moffatt captured his second silver of the season, claiming his first in Stubai, Austria, in November.

“Unfortunately, there was a lot of wind (Saturday) and it wasn’t safe to ski,” Moffatt said. “This wasn’t really the way I had hoped to win a medal this weekend, but it is what it is.

“Everyone would have preferred to ski, but the health and safety of the athletes was the top priority, so it was the right decision.”

Norway’s Birk Ruud won the competition with a qualifying score of 88.50 points, while Sweden’s Jesper Tjader placed third with 86.00.

Bruce Oldham of Parry Sound, Ont., was 16th, two spots ahead of Calgary’s Mark Hendrickson. Dylan Deschamps of Quebec City was 36th while Philippe Langevin of Mont-Tremblant, Que., was 41st.

The women’s qualifiers and final were both cancelled Friday and Saturday, respectively.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2022.

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