Taiwan has legalised gay marriage, and it’s the first country in Asia to do so! Literally ever. This is a historic win for equality and same-sex rights.
Related: Angola Decriminalises Gay Sex
The Love-Is-Love Law
Of the three bills parliament considered passing, only one of them actually used the word “marriage”. Not ‘unions’ or ‘relationships’ but marriages. YES, THANKS. And, supported by LGBTQ+ groups, this bill passed. Way to go, Taiwan!
Taiwan’s law previously stated that marriage was only between a man and a woman. CNN reports that, two years ago, the Constitutional Court ruled (finally) that this was unconstitutional. And now, the law has been amended to reflect that love is love. This new bill makes same-sex marriage a reality from the 24th May 2019.
Taiwan’s annual gay pride parade is the largest in Asia, and the island has a big LGBTQIA+ community. So while there was push-back from conservative groups, thousands of people stood outside the parliament on Friday to raise their voices for gay rights.
“I’m very surprised, but also very happy,” said Jennifer Lu, the chief coordinator of the gay-rights group Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, The Cut reports, “It’s a very important moment in my life.”
The President Tweeted in Celebration
Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, tweeted about this historic decision. While the president must still sign the legislation, it was a tweet of triumph to the world:
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) May 17, 2019
The Fight Isn’t Over Yet
This is some much needed good news and it’s being celebrated by queer communities all over the world. However, LGBTQIA+ people still don’t enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. Gay couples in Taiwan, for example, still don’t have the right to adopt. The Cut reports:
“We still need to fight for co-adoption rights, and we are not sure about foreigner and Taiwanese marriage, and also gender equality education,” said activist Jennifer Lu, “We are going to keep on fighting. We are Taiwanese and we want this important value for our country, for our future.”
Every win should be celebrated. And this is a big win, for Taiwan, for Asia, for queer people around the world.