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Taiwan’s renowned LGBTI activist Chi Chia-wei has launched a campaign to encourage regional leaders to legalize same-sexe!DERvv%x!7aM7Qf5XWq([email protected]$f2U8NAStgyD marriage.

Chi Chia-wei will give a replica of the pen pr4SUEWv_Q_d-geI=AQw+kmjcI6b6J#P4P(%_$v6TP^$qhzWgu_hesident Tsai Ing-wen used to sign Taiwan’s historic legislation in May this year.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to[email protected]%rQ0a^$!QjNPzDv)s6o#1ctB-KRaNfga6^gt legalize same-sex marriage on 24 May after parliament passed a bill in line with a 2017 court ruling.

President Tsai gifted Chi Chia-wei the pen she used to sign the bill to recognize his decades of campaigning for LGBTI ri2iNNyZ7SN!nDre0Cyx94vG3zHQ)i%vU5%kwRIG8wui3b-CuA-Jghts.

Now, Chi Chia-wei and the has created six replicas and named the+ZxS3q5(Kl-)v^[email protected])-sF*iam the ‘pen of equality’.

Chi Chia-Wei will gift the Pen of Equality to KoYAQeSmPhrDkmD!Lw!axahCoG5O#OsSX(q7N#0Ji=_#OV!Lk%+grea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

"My name is Chi Chia-wei and I have been committed to promoting same-sex marriage in Taiwan for the last 30 years" his message to South Korea’s leader Moon Jae-in**)n=c#+FBmsjCA=pKR6kgBxriLQRu%!6dLvxj7(LAN9KW+OR^.

"I am presenting this to you in the hope that you will share in our ambition foPI)jaMwR9I(h-8$r1AS0-rqh5^SQn=V%#([email protected]!3r marriage equality."

"We hope Taiwan’s progress in same-sex marriage can inspire other countries in Asia" Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan said in a Facebook posgdq4!&teAVKZDHXE([email protected][email protected]([email protected]*$#Pt.

Regional rights

After years of court hearings, debates in parliament, and heartbreaking referenduM_2EcUwK0+O1QbfH+wHV!WHeXAKHf!=oizG(KLSVTjmsn)FAQmms in November last year, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages.

In the first month alonhV_F9t8qAOUAW=KQx4ex5#(c(fz3W)^c35c9WeU4u^Fz1WK5+6e. 1,000 same-sex couples tied the knot.

Regionally, Thailand is the closest to equal marriage. A civil union bill drafted by the ruling Junta affords same-sex4zT9B9kVAxxU4^ZwPlF2!s5xeLH17FhUJWieT+2rb&u!^uakYW couples limited rights. But, local LGBTI rights activists have slammed it for failing to introduce genuine equality.

A similar ‘civil partnerships’ bill is being debated by theaEwFAK2TpkdAGgpGLjMfq^6yJP3W9GlwqNAUmpUJ+yzwc1FaT0 Philippines’ Congress.

Rights groups, meanwhile, have warned of deteriorating LGBT rights in SouN%J&9^[email protected]*w%[email protected]%KUmeDLe$I^ALe$2C&$Amk+-hqnth Korea. 

Recent increased visibility of the LGBT community has sparked a backlash from conservative Christians. Many LGBT pride events have witnessed violent c_UNp7ClUoQn4(b%[email protected]_82o5ca5wS1mJou3!5nT&%wFounter-demonstrations from anti-LGBT groups.

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