Taipei: Taiwan lawmakers vote to legalise same-sex marriage

In a landmark decision on Friday, Taiwan’s legislature voted to legalise same-sex marriage, paving the way for the self-ruled island to become the first administration in Asia to recognise homosexual partnerships.

From next Friday, gay couples in Taiwan will be able to register their marriages with government agencies.

“It is a historic moment, and a victory for Taiwan,” said Bruce Chu, who campaigned for passage of the bill. The legislature’s vote in favour of the bill drew thunderous applause from some 40,000 supporters of marriage equality waiting outside the legislature despite heavy rain.

Waving placards describing marriage equality as a universal human right, the supporters shouted thanks to the lawmakers inside. The change follows an article-by-article review of a government bill widely debated by supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.

Jennifer Lu, chief coordinator of gay rights group Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, said the legislation was not perfect but did meet most of the needs of same-sex couples. “Taiwan is moving in line with the world’s trend as it echoes the universal call for rights equality,” Lu said. “I believe the disputes over same-sex marriage will soon come to an end. People will find that the day is still bright and the Earth still moves after same-sex people start registering for marriage.” Read more via South China Morning Post