In a first for Asia, Taiwan's parliament approves same-sex marriage

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2019

In exchange, the phrase "to register for marriage" was added to Article 4 to ensure the bill does not violate the spirit of Constitutional Court Interpretation No. 748, which ordered lawmakers to deliver a bill to guarantee same-sex couples' freedom of marriage and right to equality by May 24.

The law will give a boost to Jay Lin and his partner, who hope to marry and assume joint custody of their two 2-year-old sons.

With that deadline fast approaching, three bills have been tabled for Friday - which also happens to be the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

The Cabinet's Bill incorporates the word "marriage" and covers adoption rights for same-sex couples, albeit limited ones.

The country's parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar rights to opposite-sex couples.

People hold up roses as a parliamentary vote to legalize same-sex marriage was held in Taiwan. Conservative opponents had proposed rival bills that would define partnerships as "same-sex unions" or "same-sex familial relationships".

"A lot of gay parents are excited about that already", said Lin, a Taipei-based online streaming service founder.

The capital city Taipei is home to East Asia's largest gay pride parade - an event that regularly draws tens of thousands of participants.

"For Singaporeans, this is especially important because our government likes to go on and on about preserving "Asian" values... so this sends a very important message to other developed nations in Asia". Purdue said the farm bailout will total between $15 billion and $20 billion, and include more direct payments and commodity purchases, but "many farmers doubt the scale of that aid package is anywhere near sufficient to make up for a trade spat that has shut them out of a lucrative Chinese market of 1.4 billion consumers", The Wall Street Journal reports. "This is a moment to cherish and celebrate, but it has been a long and arduous campaign for Taiwan".

In a referendum previous year, citizens overwhelmingly voted in favour of restricting the definition of marriage in Taiwan's civil code to between a man and a woman.

Tsai said earlier that she recognised the issue had divided "families, generations and even inside religious groups".

Although some DPP lawmakers chose to be absent during the votes on Article 2 and Article 4 in defiance of party orders, the Executive Yuan's version of the two articles was still passed by a majority of votes in the 113-seat Legislature, passing 75-22 and 66-27 respectively. Instead of amending the existing civil code, the bill creates a new law under which same-sex marriages will be regulated.

Others warned of a backlash.

"How can we ignore the result of the referendums, which demonstrated the will of the people?" said John Wu, a lawmaker from the opposition Kuomintang party, according to Reuters.

"We will just enjoy this victory for today, and continue our fight tomorrow", Hsu said.

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