Taiwan Legalises Same-sex Marriage

Taiwan’s parliament has become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage, following a vote on Friday.

The country’s constitution in 2017, ruled that same-sex couples had the right to marry legally.

The parliament was given a two-year deadline to vote on the issue, and was required to pass the changes by May 24, 2019.

Hundreds of gay rights supporters gathered in the rain outside the parliament building in the capital, Taipei, to await the landmark ruling.

There were shouts of joy, with some embracing as the result was announced.

However, opposing party, the conservatives, were angered by the vote.

The bill will take effect after Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen, passes it into law.

Several same-sex activists had said ahead of the vote, that this was the only version they would accept.

“The fight for equality does not stop here. We will continue to fight against discrimination, bullying and defend gender equality education”, Jennifer Lu, chief co-ordinator of rights group Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, was quoted by Reuters news agency.

“For me the outcome today is not 100 percent perfect, but it’s still pretty good for the gay community as it provides legal definition,” said Elias Tseng, a gay pastor, told AFP news agency outside the parliament.

Taiwanese singer, Jolin Tsai, posted a picture of a rainbow on Facebook, accompanied by the caption “Congratulations!! Everyone deserves happiness!”

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