Taiwan: First Asian country to allow same-sex marriage
TAIPEI, Taiwan--The LGBTQ community earned a major victory in Asia, on May 18, as legislators in Taiwan voted to legally recognize same-sex marriage. News reports indicate the pro-LGBTQ mandate will go into effect on May 24.
Taiwan is the first of Asia's 50-some countries to permit two people of the same gender to marry.
The legislative vote was made amidst thousands of people - as many as 35,000, according to one Taiwanese publication - taking to the streets to express support or opposition to the policy proposal.
The path leading to the historic May 18 vote was a rough one, as two branches of the government were not aligned with voters on the issue. A 2017 ruling out of Taiwan's Constitutional Court reportedly found same-sex marriages to be constitutional and mandated the national parliament to modernize laws within two years.
"The Constitutional Court rules that provisions of the Civil Code forbidding same-sex marriage violate the Constitution, placing Taiwan on track to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex unions," Taiwan's official website stated.
Voters, however, rejected re-defining marriage as anything but an act between a man and a woman, according to news reports; it was considered a win for the country's conservatives.
Taiwan, however, reportedly hots one of the largest annual gay pride parades in Asia.
Pres. Tsai Ing-wen has made it one of her priorities to promote gay rights and same-sex marriage; her party, the Democratic Progressive Party, holds a majority in the Taiwanese legislature.
More than 23 million people live in Taiwan, which is not one of the 48 Asian countries recognized by the United Nations.