Taiwan holds first same-sex marriages in historic day for Asia

Taiwan made history on Friday with Asia's first legal gay weddings as same-sex couples tied the knot in jubilant and emotional scenes, the culmination of a three-decade fight for equality.

Published: 24th May 2019 06:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2019 07:16 PM   |  A+A-

Taiwan holds first same-sex marriages in historic day for Asia. (Photo | AP)

Taiwan holds first same-sex marriages in historic day for Asia. (Photo | AP)

By IANS

TAIPEI: Around 20 same-sex couples on Friday registered their marriage officially at the Household Registration Office in Taipei, a week after Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex unions.

A gay couple who have been in a relationship for the past 12 years were one of the first to get married, the state run Central News Agency reported.

"Being gay in Taiwan has not been easy. I feel lucky to have had the support of my friends, family and better half," Hsiao Hsuan, who still remembers the first time the gay pride flag was hoisted in Taiwan, told reporters.

"I waved a rainbow flag throughout the parade, but I was too afraid to take it out on my way home," he added.

For the 56-year-old Lipin Xie, it has been a long wait. She has been with her partner for the last 36 years.

Another lesbian couple, Yu Ya-ting and Huang Mei-yu also seemed content after registering their marriage, which they said was a "long-overdue legal process", Efe news reported.

"Our first marriage took place in 2012 and today is our second one. We now have the blessing not only of the gods, but also our parents and society," Huang said.

Taiwan made history last Friday after its Parliament passed the bill to legalize same-sex marriages with 66 votes in favour and 27 against.

The country's top court ruled in 2017 that homosexual couples should have the same marriage rights as heterosexuals, and gave Parliament a two-year deadline, which was to expire on May 24, to implement or make amendments to the law.

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