This year on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Taiwan made history.
It has become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage after Tawain’s president Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party voted it into law earlier today.
The vote took place a weeks before a supreme court order required the country to take action on the issue.
Two years ago, Taiwan’s top court ruled that marriage being defined as only the union between a man and woman was unconstitutional.
As result, the court set a deadline on 24 May 2019 for the country to introduced legislation to legalise same-sex marriage.
”Good morning #Taiwan. Today, we have a chance to make history & show the world that progressive values can take root in an East Asian society,” Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen tweeted ahead of the vote earlier today.
Good morning #Taiwan. Today, we have a chance to make history & show the world that progressive values can take root in an East Asian society.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) May 17, 2019
And that history was made shortly after, with LGBTQ people all over Taiwan celebrating the result.
More than 40,000 people took to the street in Taipei on Friday to show support for the new legislation.
The Democratic Progressive Party government “ordered its lawmakers to vote in favour of the bill drafted by Taiwan’s cabinet,” according to Bloomberg.
The new bill was one of three proposed, but lawmakers felt it was the most progressive.
One of the bills that didn’t pass wanted to create a new type of union for same-sex couples, while the other proposed to call same-sex marriage “same-sex unions”.
Ultimately, the DPP’s more progressive proposal won through, which will now let same-sex unions be recognised as marriages and their partners as spouses.
This victory for the LGBTQ community in Taiwan follows a referendum last November where 72% of Taiwan voted against same-sex marriage.
However, early reports have suggested that more than 200 couple have registered to marry on 24 May, when the first same-sex weddings can take place in Taiwan.