It was a jubilant scene in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei on Friday after lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Equality advocates celebrated outside the legislature, chanting, clapping and waving signs and rainbow flags, reports Austin Ramzy of the New York Times. Lawmakers faced pressure from conservative groups opposed to same-sex marriage and in a series of referendums held last year, voters rejected the push to define marriage as anything other than an institution that exists between a man and a woman. Parliament subsequently considered several different bills.
Taiwan becomes first Asian nation to legalize same-sex marriage
Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage—a First for Asia | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine
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. Taiwan has long been a leader of gay rights in Asia , a region where such rights have lagged, and the annual gay pride parade in Taipei is a magnet for gays and lesbians from countries where discrimination and unequal treatment is far more entrenched. Tsai, who took office in , said during her campaign that she supported same-sex marriage, and her left-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, which took control of the legislature for the first time that year, also generally favors such legislation. But momentum for a same-sex marriage law had stalled as opponents, including some church and conservative groups, campaigned against the mandated changes. That left the government facing a May 24 deadline.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators, gay rights supporters and dissenting protesters packed the streets outside the parliament building in Taipei in the rainy morning hours, awaiting the crucial vote. Taiwan's constitutional court ruled in that same-sex couples had the right to marry and gave the government a two-year deadline to amend the constitution with a new law to guarantee it. Opponents of same-sex marriage began to push back and dulled the political will of some lawmakers over fears of repercussions in the general election next year.
Taiwan has legalised same-sex marriage, the first of any Asian state, with the passage of legislation giving gay couples the right to marry. Thousands of gay rights supporters gathered in heavy rain outside parliament in the capital, Taipei, to watch a live broadcast of the proceedings. Now the law says everyone should be treated equally no matter who you are, who you love. Judges had given the government until next Friday to pass legislation.