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Taiwan passes marriage equality, a historic first for Asia

Taiwan passes marriage equality, a historic first for Asia.
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Wikipedia - stock photo

Taiwan has made history today as it became the first place in Asia for same-sex couples to legally marry. 

Lawmakers on the self-ruled island state approved a bill following two years of preparation to amend existing marriage laws which were deemed unconstitutional in 2017. 

Friday was the deadline and lawmakers in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan approved a bill making same-sex marriage legal starting on May 24 according to CNN

Just like in America, the island has a huge LGBT population but is also dominated by traditionalists. In November of 2018, 67% voted to reject same-sex marriage.

Conservatives made the argument that marriage was between a man and a woman and that gay couples could be recognized within an amendment, but only as a union. 

Masses of people gathered outside parliament before the historic decision was made on Friday.

"Today the result was the best we got for this stage," said Wu Tzu-an, a 33-year-old gay artist from Taipei. "It's also a sign to show that Taiwan was different from China. Personally, I don't have plans to get married, but I think it's a sign for equality."

The Taiwanese Beijing Gender Health Education Institute said the passage of the law gives China's LGBT community a lot of hope. 

"The Chinese government has pointed to cultural tradition as a reason for same-sex marriage being unsuitable in China. But the decision in Taiwan, which shares a cultural tradition with us, proves that Chinese culture can be open, diverse and progressive," said Xiaogang Wei, who heads the organization. 

Even the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, celebrated the historic vote. 

"We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country," he tweeted.