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Taiwan’s renowned LGBTI activist Chi Chia-wei has launche@d4Z2hOWbpXOqq5K(R+U!88QP(N3e%_JHZVRXODZY81CO9m_dEd a campaign to encourage regional leaders to legalize same-sex marriage.

Chi Chia-wei will give a replica of the pen president Tsai Ing-wen used to sign Taiwan’s historic legislation in MayAu&)jyQ1&h07)8TUtiWZLA5ayvkWWZkGR5iG9Zt21(DegLJ-!* this year.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on 24 May after parliament passed a bill in line with a 2017 courtH9QR#Q8(vHR0#aC%)uFSuc*Z7M%a*@_%TDYukOODGk4Xj=5_K( ruling.

President Tsai gifted Chi Chia-wei the pen she use[email protected]+N(Au&3lJYKVu&B1%xXpb-X%[email protected]#&-d to sign the bill to recognize his decades of campaigning for LGBTI rights.

Now, Chi K=gXaZGQvorWb3L()q)34()j)VjhZIZvSNd^Ox)%KT3$Hh1vjTChia-wei and the has created six replicas and named them the ‘pen of equality’.

Chi Chia-Wei will gift the Pen of Equality to Korea, the Philippines, Tha_FCOfcamUI_qM4)kJ9JFLGHiW&KG$4*[email protected]_X7ItilBa!1e^9Tiland and Vietnam.

"My name is Chi Chia-wei and I have beR*U^@Vwg73ce)iRhbo$g!dupds*[email protected]+rPRMzHACNM2TUWVen committed to promoting same-sex marriage in Taiwan for the last 30 years" his message to South Korea’s leader Moon Jae-in.

"I am presenting thiciG$jmUFfYMAbG^PSTp%5lY8GAtVJE8K_t2YWNx8L)wPwarZXys to you in the hope that you will share in our ambition for marriage equality."

"We hope Taiwan’s progres6g^@[email protected](A#1xahoJVu3BHnZ1ZtwbE%rcQ!H4f5$b%qPmX+iAVis in same-sex marriage can inspire other countries in Asia" Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan said in a Facebook post.

Regional rights

After years of court hearings, debates in parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in NovembG6N10schk)$w#FLJ_GIUhayuc7X03*-2m7Swc*YkzI-QQRjzA9er last year, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages.

In the first month alone. 1,000 same-sex couples tied t!bs3rIaJK$yzm*Og9swP#p9+yiME8o2Y-jvyNVIgZ!vPSGSDyfhe knot.

Regionally, Thailand is the closest to equPkR0(GD3f!B&a^3RHJ)!L$mpuJbDU)z4(5E%EdkJao#8UzH2Mfal marriage. A civil union bill drafted by the ruling Junta affords same-sex couples limited rights. But, local LGBTI rights activists have slammed it for failing to introduce genuine equality.

A similar ‘civil partnepE5FgKwU^Cp(Y8!zmFEhAjAJW0wYS#I+5hF7Vkn023gHTPSk%^rships’ bill is being debated by the Philippines’ Congress.

Rights groups, meanwhile, have warned of deVwVgAGOa7fQPMGD9LcE3!cKO5kuhJKp*W^[email protected]_pqnD6kaMYZB7teriorating LGBT rights in South Korea. 

Recent increased visibility of the LGBT community has sparked a backlash from conservative Christians. Many LGBT pride events have witnessed violent counter-demonstrations from anti-LGBT grouk1ub$uFtc(ZkE4fg$c_3EAHTUvMFQP2ivjnT4%-SpdCp8nWxOkps.

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