‘A country that stands on our side’: same-sex marriage law a boost for Asia

“It is just like Christmas and we want to remember it,” said Zheng, explaining the selfies.

More than 20,000 people had stood outside Parliament with the placards in torrential rain earlier in the day. But soon the dark clouds broke and the sun shone down on Taiwan’s capital.

Same-sex marriage supporters cheer outside Parliament in the rain.

Same-sex marriage supporters cheer outside Parliament in the rain.Credit:AP

Passing the legislation (the vote was won 66-27) was not only significant for Taiwan, but the gay and lesbian community throughout Asia.

Agusto Rain, 33, travelled from the Philippines with two friends to witness the historic vote.

“It is a good development for everyone — it shows there will be a country that stands on our side,” he said, wearing a rainbow t-shirt outside the Red House.

Agusto Rain, centre, and his friends travelled from the Philippines to watch the vote in Taipei.

Agusto Rain, centre, and his friends travelled from the Philippines to watch the vote in Taipei.

But Rain didn’t hold hope that many other countries would follow Taiwan’s groundbreaking example anytime soon.

“Asia has a lot of very conservative countries, especially the Philippines which is predominantly Roman Catholic.”

He said Malaysia and Indonesia were also heavily influenced by Islam.

Brunei earlier this month backed down on introducing the death penalty for gay sex convictions, but LGBT citizens in Brunei still face fines or jail.

Amnesty International’s Taiwan director Annie Huang said it had been a “long and arduous campaign for Taiwan to become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.”

“We hope this landmark vote will generate waves across Asia and offer a much-needed boost in the struggle for equality for LGBTI people in the region,” she said.

Taiwan’s constitutional court ruled two years ago that marriage law discriminated against same-sex couples and the law should be changed.

The vote in Parliament on Friday met a deadline set by the court to amend marriage laws or pass new legislation to legalise same sex marriage.

But it came after several attempts to water down the legislation, and a referendum last November that saw 67 per cent of those who voted reject questions on same-sex marriage.

Under the new legislation, Taiwanese same-sex couples will not be granted the same legal rights to adopt children as opposite sex couples. It is also unclear if a marriage between a Taiwanese and a foreigner is covered.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said in a tweet: “Love won. We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country.”

Kirsty Needham is China Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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Источник: Theage.com.au

Источник: Corruptioner.life


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