The celebration of marriage equality in Taiwan serves as a true inspiration for LGBTQ communities in other parts of Asia. What can we learn from the Taiwan experience? Quite a lot, actually, and I wish to highlight the following aspects:

First of all, government can play an active role in pushing for social change. Many Asian states exercise a strong power in setting legislative agendas and shaping social consensus. This power, exercised appropriately, can be used to advance social justice and citizenship rights. In a world where LGBTQ rights have become an important part of a country’s soft power and cultural diplomacy, Asian governments should take this opportunity to shape their national images positively in domestic and international contexts.

While marriage equality legislation is an important step towards gender and sexual equality, it is not the whole story. There are many other aspects including equal access to employment, education and social welfare, as well as adoption and surrogacy rights, which may take even longer to achieve. Also, gaining public support and building consensus is important. Without widespread support from across society, there may be a conservative backlash against newly achieved LGBTQ rights. Read more via Taiwan Insight