Taiwan legalizes gay marriage, and becomes the first Asian country to make this change. The world is rejoicing at Taiwan’s brave move.
Two years after the self-ruled island of Taiwan ruled that the laws prohibiting same-sex marriages were unconstitutional, the Taiwanese lawmakers have managed to approve a bill legalizing same-sex marriages. The move has made Taiwan the first country in Asia to pass this legislation, and the bill will go into effect on May 24.
The issue of marriage equality caused a huge controversy in the country, despite the fact that it has a large gay community and its annual gay pride is very large. 67% of Taiwanese people voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in a referendum was held in November last year. On the contrary, thousands of people demonstrated on Friday in favor of same-sex marriages outside the parliament.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted after the move, “We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country.”
33 year old gay artist Wu Tzu-an said, “Today the result was the best we got for this stage. It’s also a sign to show that Taiwan was different from China,” he added, referring to mainland China where same-sex marriage has not been legalized. Personally I don’t have plans to get married, but I think it’s a sign for equality.”
Beijing Gender Health Education Institute’s Xiaogang Wei told CNN, “It will have a very positive impact on China’s LGBT community, offering us a lot of hope. The Chinese government has pointed to cultural tradition as a reason for same-sex marriage being unsuitable in China. But the decision in Taiwan, which shares a cultural tradition with us, proves that Chinese culture can be open, diverse and progressive.”
The bill will go into effect on May 24.