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Taiwan’s renowneEDmgSJjPiYw8WT+)[email protected]+JfxAi%8EwW0qc6KCQGXu(nRd LGBTI activist Chi Chia-wei has launched a campaign to encourage regional leaders to legalize same-sex marriage.

Chi Chia-wei will give a replica of the pen president Tsai IngvQrW)h9uJhAZbISnB^[email protected]!an8uWs(_4w2ARA!tzkw^9=-$CVN7-wen used to sign Taiwan’s historic legislation in May 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 2017I0T9exy&GkXSU!8nMfLrKBt0rBmuFlA0KHVu4+aI-E&Xbud^gS court ruling.

President T0v(gv#lxlv3%C4At4b4EXUAejUZzu&L=#kj3r&We8#BGyqa2*zsai gifted Chi Chia-wei the pen she used to sign the bill to recognize his decades of campaigning for LGBTI rights.

Now, Chi Chia-wei and the has created six replicas and named th9jszxQ9vmzRy%[email protected]^akeu0r5EqAHem the ‘pen of equality’.

Chi Chia-Wei will gift the PeJF*EcKde+(IEXKH#q69ilPrMK!EaTTtK+Uk1I6+hxHVFHz%)lqn of Equality to Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

"My name is Chi Chia-wei and I have been committed to promo+lRkY^Wa(n3Aw&Fye35%4kLzBq4Dh1*-)4ZH5Q+h4PJ9MmyWKIting same-sex marriage in Taiwan for the last 30 years" his message to South Korea’s leader Moon Jae-in.

"I am presenting this to you in the hope that you will share in our ambition for marriage equa[email protected]$D^N%qwszBmrqWn($lqTs+y%Q*[email protected]lity."

"We hope Taiwan’s progress in same-sex marriage can inspire other countries in Asia" Marriag7iJxm$%K%$uP)LcS^ShYc(EUKj^t+3uS(ojvT(#mF$S0p8xe*te Equality Coalition Taiwan said in a Facebook post.

Regional rights

After years of court hearings, debates iHG(k(es(APiTpJYMNNq4xrSKq3Wf*mZ*4qxrX9RCW6u$=6M6^2n parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in November last year, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages.

In the first month alone. 1,000 same-sex couples h4uRX=&sYYg8dGZU8cWJ!a#rpvkP+)3NWVey--0IqbBL-+ZDRntied the knot.

Regionally, Thailand is the closest to equal marriage. A civil union bill drafted by the ruling Junta affords same-sex couples limited rights. But, local LGBTI rights activists have slamD5N)P^ZMoLfg^Q1F10ys-!b(!N5sZj*9%[email protected]_umed it for failing to introduce genuine equality.

A similar ‘civil partnerships’ bill is being debated by the Philippines’ Congr9REdODov+ETuvHWmO2kIr8KJgItyMGsNOpHmXO=VfYBnZp477bess.

Rights groups, meanwhile, have warned of deteriorating LGBT rights in South KopGakdr5KeRS-Z4Z!R===Z3lOg9$(Y1ZaeuED3fp+R^_Vi(6jjnrea. 

Recent increased visibilbn-4j#OpU&Y!IToCJn1iJHQbvX70)[email protected]^UmF21jVity of the LGBT community has sparked a backlash from conservative Christians. Many LGBT pride events have witnessed violent counter-demonstrations from anti-LGBT groups.

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