A day after Taiwan’s parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage, two gay couples and one straight couple held a joint wedding on Saturday (18 May).
The social media stars organized the ceremony in support of same-sex marriage and promote gender equality.
Leading LGBTI activists, including veteran LGBT rights activist Chi Chia-wei and coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan Jennifer Lu attended.
Taiwan’s parliament on Friday (17 May) became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
The president is expected to sign the bill into law before this Friday (24 May).
Saturday’s event, therefore, was a wedding ceremony and celebration and the couples will likely register with the government at another time.
According to the Taipei Times, all three couples said their parents disapproved of their relationships.
But, they said, they never gave up communicating with their families.
Chi Chia-wei echoed this perseverance in his speech. He said people had labeled him a ‘pervert’ when he first lobbied parliament for same-sex marriage.
The legendary activist also encouraged the newlyweds to love, trust, help and tolerate each other, according to the Taipei Times.
He congratulated Taiwan in being the 27th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
First in Asia
Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on Friday (17 May).
The country’s parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar rights to opposite-sex couples.
It comes after years of court rulings, referendums, and tussles in parliament.
The crucial 4th line of the bill passed with 93 lawmakers voting for the bill, 66 opposing, and 27 abstaining.
Thousands of LGBTI rights supporters gathered outside parliament and cheered as the vote was announced.
It was the result of work by LGBTI groups over the last 30 years, said Benson Lee of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan.
‘Legislators have come forward and stood on the side of love’ he told Gay Star News.
He said the movement will not stop here. ‘We will continue our work in eradicating discrimination and bullying and defending LGBTI education’.
In a last-minute effort to appease conservative lawmakers, Taiwan’s ruling party on Friday removed the word ‘marriage’ from the bill.
But, same-sex couples can still get register for marriage in the same way as other couples.
Couples can only adopt children if the child is the biological child of one of the couple.
Taiwan is the regional leader for LGBTI rights. Thailand’s ruling junta last year submitted a union bill to cabinet, affording limited rights to same-sex couples.
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Author: Rik Glauert