They found each other on social media, flew across the world to meet, and immediately fell in love. But love is rarely easy for same-sex couples in Asia. Neither Taiwan, where Huang is from, nor mainland China, where Xiao is from, recognized same-sex marriages at the time mainland China still does not.
While office workers took in the spectacle, one couple after another exercised their new legal right to register their unions. As cameras snapped away, Jennifer Lu, the chief coordinator of the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, politely but firmly kept the news media circus at bay, making sure that the newly recognized newlyweds had enough space. For Ms.
Laurel Wamsley. In a landmark first for Asia, Taiwan has legalized same-sex marriage. Supporters celebrate the bill's passage outside parliament in Taipei on Friday.
For the first time, same-sex couples celebrated their weddings in Taiwan on Friday, making the island nation the first in Asia to legalize gay marriage. But the landmark change in the law still excludes people from countries without marriage equality. Authorities expect about same-sex couples to register on Friday, after LGBT advocates fought decades to get their marriages recognized by Taiwanese law, the Guardian reported. Read more: Taiwan approves same-sex marriage in first for Asia.
It was a landmark moment for LGBT rights. For those watching from across the Taiwan strait in China, where gay couples do not have that right, the moment was heartening but also profoundly sad. A few days later he flew to Taiwan to watch two male friends register their marriage after 14 years together.
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The island's lawmakers comfortably passed a law allowing same-sex couples to form "exclusive permanent unions" and a second clause that would let them apply for a "marriage registration" with government agencies. The vote is a major victory for the island's LGBT community who have campaigned for years to have similar of equal marriage rights as heterosexual couples and places the island at the vanguard of Asia's burgeoning gay rights movement. In recent months conservatives had mobilised to rid the law of any reference to marriage, instead putting forward rival bills that offered something closer to limited same-sex unions.
Beijing CNN Taiwan has lashed out at China's state media for attempting to take credit for the island's historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos
Today May 24 was the first day that same-sex couples in Taiwan were allowed to legally marry, one week after its parliament legalized it. Couples signed up at marriage registration offices from early in the morning around Taipei, some of them having already reserved in advance to do so. There, members of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, a group of lawyers who had represented same-sex couples suing for the right to marry, and one of the most active advocacy groups on the issue in Taiwan, gathered to wed.