Taiwan is the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Taiwan’s constitutional court ruled in 2017 that the law defining marriage as between men and women was unconstitutional. Its parliament has two years to decide on a new law. On May 17, three different bills were considered as supporters waited outside in the rain. Lawmakers passed the most progressive option.
“I’m very surprised—but also very happy…” Taiwan’s Marriage Equality Coalition’s Jennifer Lu told The BBC. “However, it’s still not full marriage rights; we still need to fight for co-adoption rights, and we are not sure about foreigner and Taiwanese marriage, and also gender equality education.”
Taiwanese LGBTQ+ groups have been pushing for visibility and host the biggest annual pride parade in Asia.
Other parts of Asia are still battling for similar rights. In November 2018, a woman in mainland China was sentenced to 10 years in prison for writing a homophobic novel. Two men in Indonesia were sentenced to 85 lashes on May 2017 after they were reportedly found in bed together.
Taiwan’s new law will go into effect on May 24.