Presidential hopeful would treat LGBT child with ’empathy, tolerance and respect’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Taiwanese presidential candidate made the comments in the run up the country’s election.

James Soong Chu-yu said that if he had an LGBT child he would treat them with nothing but “empathy, tolerance and respect.”

The chairman of the People First Party – who is currently second in the polls – was asked what he would do if he had a gay or trans child in a Facebook question and answer session with voters.

“At first, it would definitely be unexpected,” he said initially.

However, he later added: “[My late wife] once said they deserve empathy, tolerance and respect.”

In the latest polls, Soong is second with 17% of the vote, behind the Democratic Progressive Party’s Tsai Ing-wen, who has also spoken out for LGBT rights.

Last year, an online poll revealed that 68% of the Taiwanese population supported same-sex marriage.

Taiwan’s LGBT community have been campaigning for same-sex unions for years.

In July, thousands of supporters flooded the streets of Taipei in a bid to urge the government to change the country’s stance on gay marriage.

Marchers rallied between parliament buildings and the headquarters of Taiwan’s two leading political parties, months ahead of the country’s elections, during which equal marriage is set to be a deciding factor for many Taiwanese voters.

Protesters waved rainbow flags, lit candles and shouted “gay votes are still votes”.