In a historic first for Asia, lawmakers of Taiwan have approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage! It is a landmark decision that makes the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation. It will come into effect on May 24.
The Taiwanese society has been long divided on the issue of marriage equality. The panel of judges gave the island’s parliament two years to amend or enact new laws. On Friday – only a week off the two-year deadline – lawmakers in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan passed a bill making same-sex marriage a reality.
Good morning #Taiwan. Today, we have a chance to make history & show the world that progressive values can take root in an East Asian society.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) May 17, 2019
Thousands of people braved pouring rain to demonstrate in favor of same-sex marriage outside the parliament, as lawmakers began voting on three draft bills, one tabled by the country’s Cabinet — which would ultimately prove successful — and two watered-down rival bills tabled by conservative groups.
Coincidentally, the move falls on the International day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia which makes the passing of the bill even more sweet.
Taiwan’s vote sets it apart from other parts of Asia where LGBTQ rights have been regressed. In mainland China, where homosexuality is legal but prejudices and discrimination against LGBT people persist under Communist Party rule. Whereas in April, the ruler of the oil-rich kingdom of Brunei announced he would introduce death by stoning for those convicted of gay sex.
— Equal Love Taiwan (@equallovetw) May 17, 2019
Although same-sex couples are not legally recognized currently by any form, performing a symbolic same-sex marriage is not prohibited under Indian law either. On 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India decriminalised homosexuality by declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unconstitutional.
A total of twenty-nine nations, including Taiwan have approved same-sex marriages. We hope for many others to follow suit in the coming years.