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These are the movies you need to watch to mark same-sex marriage in Taiwan

Wedding Banquet by Taiwan director Ang Lee

Taiwan is set to become the first country in Asia to legalize same sex unions by May 24.

To mark the occasion, the region’s first online LGBTI streaming service, GagaOOLala, have chosen 24 movies on the topic.

The ‘Go! Marriage Equality in Taiwan’ selection was made together with activist group Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan.

‘We hope the “Go! Marriage Equality in Taiwan” topic can help members of the LGBTQ+ community who didn’t think marriage is an option’ Robby Lu of GagaOOLala told Gay Star News.

It is also for those ‘who are considering but hesitant about committing to marriage find courage, support, guidance and most important of all, happiness once they’re wedded’.

The 24 selected movies are free for viewers in Taiwan until May 24.

Equal rights and coming out

The movies are divided into six sub-categories: Equal rights, premarital coming out, wedding preparation, becoming parents, after becoming parents, and legal rights.

GagaOOLala’s selection includes local and international movies.

Different Path, Same Way is a documentary showing the lives of a newlywed gay couple in Hong Kong.

Paternal Instinct from 2004, meanwhile, shows a gay male couple in New York who want a baby.

Cambodian documentary Two Girls Against the Rain documents a captivatingly courageous lesbian couple in Cambodia who have known and loved each other since the Khmer Rouge.

The list also, of course, includes Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s 1993 classic the Wedding Banquet.

The award-winning feature films features a gay Taiwanese man in the US organizing a sham marriage with a female painter.

You can see the full list here.

Taiwan’s bid for marriage equality

Taiwan is currently debating two same-sex marriage bills. 

The government last month made history as the first country in Asia to submit a bill to palriament.

But as the details emerged, the government, lawmakers, and activists admitted it fell short of true marriage equality.

The compromise bill comes after a devastating referendum loss in November 2018. Taiwan voters opted for a separate law to legalize same-sex unions rather than to change the Civil Code.

In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. It gave a two-year deadline to legislate.

But, following the referendum, conservative groups have been lobbying lawmakers to enact a ‘cohabitation’ or ‘partnership’ law to afford same-sex couples similar rights as marriage.

Rights activists denounced this as failing to give genuine equality.

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Author: Rik Glauert