Taiwan just became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage after passing the necessary legislation 66-27 last week. Now, the photos of the first couples to tie the knot following legalisation are here, and they’re guaranteed to make even the coldest hearts melt.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) May 17, 2019
Shane Lin and Marc Yuan and Cynical Chick and Li Ying-Chien were some of the first couples to be legally wed earlier today, registering their marriages at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi District, Taipei.
Shane and Marc’s marriage was witnessed by activist Chi Chia-Wei, who was one of the first people in Taiwan to publicly come out as gay, and who has been campaigning for LGBTQ rights since the 1980s.
Chi told CNN:
“I have been preparing for this day to come, although it took a long while to happen … But I knew it would eventually come.”
Jennifer Lu, chief coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, told the ABC that Australian Yes campaigners “significantly strengthened the island’s fight for marriage equality”, adding that the Coalition’s social media campaign ‘What Love Has Taught Us’ was modelled on Australia’s Yes campaign.
"As long as two people get along, isn't it what marriage is about? " by Chun Tao, a 93-year-old grandmother. "It only matters when two people live happily and in harmony."#tbt #grandmom #granny #marriage #equality #equallove #LGBTI #loveislove #happily #harmony pic.twitter.com/OSgfalnUxV
— Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan (@equallovetw) January 20, 2019
Activists and members of the LGBTQ community across Asia are hoping this marks a turning point – that legalisation of same-sex marriage in Taiwan could encourage other governments to follow suit. Then again, it took Australia four years to legalise same-sex marriage after our closest neighbour and ally, New Zealand, did so in 2013.
Either way, this is a hard-won victory for Taiwan’s LGBTQ community, and they should feel proud of their tremendous and historic success.