In landmark first for Asia, Taiwan’s parliament approves same-sex marriage

Taiwan becomes the first country in Asia to approve same-sex marriage

Taiwan's legislature voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a first in Asia and a boost for LGBT rights activists who had championed the cause for two decades.

Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party pushed through a vote on same-sex marriage in parliament on Friday (May 17), which marks the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). Today, we have a chance to make history and show the world that progressive values can take root in an East Asian society.

Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in 2011.

"I and my partner will go and register our marriage on May 24 when the household registration office opens".

"We are just a group of people who want to live well on this land and who love each other", she told the crowd.

In 2017, Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry.

Taiwan's top court has ruled that not allowing same-sex couples to marry violates the constitution.

Two women take a selfie as they celebrate the Taiwanese parliament's vote to legalize same-sex marriage.

The government's bill created a new law specifically outlining same-sex marriage outside the Civil Code in order to comply with the plebiscite.

After the vote was called, Tsai tweeted: "On May 17th, 2019 in #Taiwan, #LoveWon".

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The two other bills, submitted by conservative lawmakers, refer to partnerships as "same-sex family relationships" or "same-sex unions" rather than "marriages".

"I believe the disputes over same-sex marriage will soon come to an end", Lu said.

President Tsai Ing-wen hailed the vote as a "big step towards true equality" that "made Taiwan a better country".

Elsewhere in the wider Asia-Pacific region, Australia legalized same-sex marriage in December 2017, and has since held thousands of gay weddings.

"How can we ignore the result of the referendums, which demonstrated the will of the people?" said John Wu, a lawmaker from the opposition Kuomintang party, according to Reuters.

"What a tremendous victory for LGBT rights!" said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The pair has also worked with Taiwan's 20-year-old LGBT movement, which is unusually vibrant for Asia because of free speech protections and lack of a strong organized religion.

"For the gay communities what matters the most is whether we can legally get married on May 24 and be listed as the spouse in ID cards, to be treated and respected as the "spouse" in the whole legal system. and whether same-sex families can obtain legal parental rights for their children".

Vietnam decriminalised gay marriage celebrations in 2015, but stopped short of granting full legal recognition for same-sex unions.

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