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Image / Editorial

Taiwan becomes first place in Asia to legalise gay marriage


by Grace McGettigan
17th May 2019
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Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – and Taiwan’s parliament has celebrated in the best way by finally legalising gay people’s right to marry


Equality campaigners in Taiwan are celebrating today as gay marriage is legalised by parliament. The island, which is officially part of China but runs its own government, is the first place in Asia to make such a move.

The news comes two years after Taiwan’s court ruled same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry. Back in 2017, the court said parliament must pass the law by Friday, May 24 of this year.

The vote

With the court’s deadline looming closer, Taiwan’s government were under pressure to make a decision; to vote for one of three bills.

One bill suggested using the term ‘same-sex union’, another other said, ‘same-sex family relationships’. In the end, they voted for the third bill; the only one to use the term ‘marriage’ and grant limited adoption rights.

As the bills were being debated, more than 20,000 campaigners for marriage equality gathered outside Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (despite the pouring rain). According to the country’s news channel Focus Taiwan, the crowds chanted, “We want to get married! Go Legislative Yuan”.

Following the vote, President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted, “On May 17 in Taiwan, love won. We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country.”

What’s more, equality campaigners across the globe are hopeful that more Asian governments will follow suit.

Photo: Wiki Commons


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