Asia's first same-sex marriages

Clay Curtis
May 26, 2019

Twenty couples queued at a marriage registration office in downtown Taipei, where rainbow flags were on display alongside stacks of government-issued, rainbow-themed registration forms.

More than 360 same-sex couples married on Friday, according to government data, after years of heated debate over marriage equality that has divided the self-ruled and democratic island.

"I think this will have a ripple effect and influence other Asian countries, they will see that this is feasible, that it can be done in Taiwan", Chen Xue, a writer who married her long-term partner on Friday, told AFP in a Taipei park where newlyweds and their supporters had gathered to celebrate.

Xue Chen and Antonia Chen organised their wedding in 2009, but had to endure a long wait to put the plans into action.

"This is the right that we deserved from a long time ago", Chia-Wei told Reuters.

Taiwan is now the first place in Asia to recognize same sex marriage.

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Couples Shane Lin (R) and Marc Yuan, and Cynical Chick (L) and Li Ying-Chien, kiss after registering for same-sex marriage at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi District in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019.

It was Mr Chi who eventually petitioned Taiwan's Constitutional Court, leading to a 2017 judgment that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. Only a week earlier, the Parliament had adopted a law on the introduction of gay marriage. The vote allows same-sex couples full legal marriage rights, including in areas such as taxes, insurance and child custody.

Taiwan made history last week when it became the first place to legalise gay marriage in Asia, home to 60 percent of the world's population.

To compile the countries where same-sex marriage is officially legal, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed dozens of news articles and information from Pew Research Center.

Conservative groups that oppose same-sex marriage said the legislation disrespected the people's will.

Taiwan's current President Tsai Ing-wen and her ruling party members may find themselves punished at the ballot box next January for supporting the law changes.

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