Taiwan scripts history, holds Asia's first legal gay weddings
Taiwan scripts history, holds Asia's first legal gay weddings
Taiwan begins first legal gay marriage registrations
26 May, 2019, 15:42
Around 40,000 people took to the streets of Taipei to show support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage on May 17.
Two couples - one male, one female - were the first to arrive at a government office in downtown Taipei.
Dressed in matching suits, they embraced and kissed in front of a huge media scrum before signing their marriage certificates.
Among those tying the knot were social worker Huang Mei-yu and her partner You Ya-ting.
Gay couple Cynical Chick (L) and Li Ying-Chien wait for wedding register at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019. "I'm really proud that my country is so advanced".
Taiwan's parliament passed a bill last week that endorsed same-sex marriage, although the measure could complicate President Tsai Ing-wen's bid for re-election next year.
But the issue has also caused deep divisions on an island that remains staunchly conservative, especially outside of the cities and among older generations.
Gay couples began marrying today in Taiwan on Friday, bringing marriage equality to a part of the world it has never seen. Next demand for same sex couples in Taiwan is about adoption of children.
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"I hope that Taiwan is the beginning of gay rights movement in Asia, not the end, and everybody has to keep fighting", said Lin.
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.
Over hundreds of same-sex couples came to register themselves to marry from early in the morning.
Conservative opponents had proposed rival bills that would define partnerships as "same-sex unions" or "same-sex familial relationships".
However, the new law still has restrictions not faced by heterosexual couples.
Same-sex couples can now only adopt their partners' biological children and can only Wednesday foreigners from countries where gay marriage is also recognised.
In November conservative and religious lobbies won a series of referendums, with a large majority of voters opposed to granting marriage rights to same-sex couples.
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