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Taiwan Became the First Asian Country to Legalize Same-sex Marriage

Updated: May 20, 2019

Taiwanese can get married with same-sex partners starting from 24 May.


Over 1,500 equality advocators cheered in the rain in Taipei to celebrate Taiwan’s legalization of same-sex marriage.

In coincidence of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT), Taiwan legislature approved Asia’s first same-sex marriage law today.

The legislature faced a deadline imposed by Taiwan’s constitutional court, which in 2017 struck down the Civil Code’s definition of marriage as exclusively between a man and woman.

The court gave the government two years to revise the law, or same-sex couples would automatically be allowed to have their marriages registered by the local authorities.

“Love has won over hate, and equality has won over discrimination,” Annie Huang, acting director of Amnesty International Taiwan, said in a statement. “This is a moment to cherish and celebrate, but it has been a long and arduous campaign for Taiwan to become the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.”

Taiwan has long been celebrated for its support for gay rights. The annual gay pride parade in Taipei, for example, is a magnet for gays and lesbians from countries where discrimination and unequal treatment is far more entrenched.

While homosexuality is commonly frowned-upon around Asia, some countries in the country carry out extreme measurements – as seen in Brunei’s recent new laws that authorized executions by stoning for gay sex and adultery.

As of October 2018, the countries that legally recognize gay marriage include:

· Argentina, Australia

· Belgium, Brazil

· Canada, Colombia

· Denmark

· Finland, France

· Germany

· Iceland, Ireland

· Luxembourg

· Malta, Mexico

· Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway

· Portugal

· South Africa, Spain, Sweden

· United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay

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