Taiwan celebrates first official same-sex weddings in Asia

taiwan gay couple same-sex marriage legalised weddings taipei

Around 300 same-sex couples in Taiwan tied the knot on the first day of the country’s same-sex marriage legislation coming into effect.

Taiwan made history last week when it became the first Asian nation to legalise same-sex marriage.

More than 150 same-sex couples were scheduled to register marriages in capital city Taipei alone on Friday, authorities said.

The city hall in Taipei co-hosted a mass outdoor wedding party, with local and foreign dignitaries expected to attend.

Shane Yuan and Marc Lin and Chun-peng Chou and Meng-huan Lin were among the first couples to wed on Friday.

Activist Chi Chia-wei autographed the first same-sex marriage certificate after three decades of campaigning for equality.

Taiwan’s president Su Tseng-chang gifted him the pen she used to sign the bill, which he used to sign the couple’s documents.

“I feel very happy that same-sex couples can finally register and be listed as each other’s spouse,” Chia-wei told AFP.

“I am honoured to witness Friday’s marriage registrations.”

In 2013, Chi Chia-wei tried to register his marriage to his same-sex partner in capital Taipei and was denied.

He challenged the ban in Taiwan’s top court. In 2017, the court ruled the law forbidding same-sex marriages violates the country’s constitution.

Taiwan the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage

Thousands of supporters gathered outside parliament and cheered as the successful vote was announced last Friday.

Taiwan’s same-sex marriage law grants many of the same legal protections for marriage as heterosexuals couples.

But it still compromises in some areas with same-sex couples only able to marry foreign citizens from countries where gay marriage is also recognised and prevents gay couples from co-adopting non-biological children.

The government’s bill falls short of full marriage equality, but it was backed by LGBTIQ groups as more progressive than two other “watered-down” bills put forward by conservative opponents.

A referendum held in November last year complicated the country’s journey to same-sex marriage.

Over 70% of Taiwanese voters rejected legalising marriage equality through changes to the Civil Code.

All three bills were tabled for the historic vote last Friday (May 17), the day recognised around the world as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Intersexism and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT).

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