Taiwan is the First Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
Taiwan is the First Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. On Friday, the Taiwanese parliament was the first Asian country to legalize marriage between two people of the same sex. The decision follows two years after a historic decision of the Supreme Court.
The Taiwanese parliament voted in favour with 66 votes in favour and 27 against with a vast majority in support of the law allowing homosexual couples to marry.
In May 2017, the Constitutional Court of the Asian country ruled that denying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The government was then given until 24 May 2019 to change the law. If nothing happened, gay marriage would become a reality anyway.
The decision allows homosexual couples to have their marriage officially registered from 24 May. Although the law only legalizes same-sex marriages between two people with Taiwanese nationality, or between a person with Taiwanese nationality and a foreigner from a country where same-sex marriage is also recognized.
Gay couples can also adopt children, at least if they are biologically related to one of the members of the couple.
The decision was received on Friday with cheers and tears of joy by a large group of activists who, in the pouring rain, had settled in front of the parliament building.
“Today is a day of great pride for Taiwan,” President Tsai told journalists. “We show the world that our country is committed to values such as inclusion. By legalizing same-sex marriage, we ensure that everyone is treated equally, and all forms of love are seen as equal. “
Taiwan is at the forefront of the rights of homosexuals in Asia, and the vote confirms that status. For example, same-sex marriage is not recognized by China, which sees Taiwan as an apostate province.
At the beginning of this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping also said that Taiwan should be returned “under force if necessary” under Chinese rule.
But there is also criticism in Taiwan itself. For example, the legalization of same-sex marriage was rejected there last year in various referendums.
Conservative groups, therefore, say that Friday’s decision “goes against the will of the people.” The legalization of same-sex marriage can, thus, become a significant political challenge for President Tsai, who hopes to be re-elected next year.
On the Asian continent, only Thailand has taken steps in recent years towards the legalization of same-sex marriage. For example, a draft law was drawn up there that would legally recognize same-sex couples.
However, LGBT activists note that even under that law, there is still no question of equality with heterosexual couples.