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On the two-year anniversary day of the Constitutional Court Interpretation No. 748, also a week after the passing of the Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretations No.748, same sex couples in Taiwan can finally enjoy the same legal rights to marriage. Having been campaigning to amend the law since 2016, Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan (of which GagaOOLala is one of the five founding members), invited 20 same-sex couples to register their marriages at Xinyi District Household Registration Office on May 24th, 2019. The Coalition set up a happiness wall presenting 524 well-wishing messages collected from social media and prepared marriage application certificates signed by A-Mei, the Taiwan pop diva who has remained a strong advocate of marriage equality, who acted as witness. Today, blessed by people from across Taiwan, these newlyweds can begin a new chapter of their lives as their country progresses towards equality.

Source: Marriage Equality Coallition Taiwan 

Cynical Chick and LiYing Chien (a well-known cartoonist and a noted playwright) have been together since the end of last year. They are also one of the blessed couples who came to register their marriage today. The legalization of same-sex marriage has allowed Cynical Chick, who has no surviving family, to start her own family. Chou Chun-Peng and Lin Meng-Huan (a theater actor and a theater playwright) have been together for 8 years. They became certain that they are each other’s significant other after the 1124 referendum last year, when they decided to get married. This May they threw a wedding party attended by people from the theater field and today they can make their commitment legal.

Source: Marriage Equality Coallition Taiwan 

Novelist Chen Xue and her partner Antonia Chen, also completed the marriage registration procedure today. The two held their wedding ceremony 10 years ago in Hualien and have been sharing their loving breakfast moments of their daily family life on social media. Because of their deep love for each other, they want to make a lifelong commitment to spend and share their lives and grow old together. As Chen Xue pointed out “marriage is a union between two lovers. It is a free, independent and voluntary choice. Instead of being a binding institution, marriage is based on mutual consent and its beginning and conclusion cannot be forced. They only come from free will.” Ya-Ting and Mei-Yu had the first Taiwan Buddhist wedding presided by Shih Chao-hwei, a highly-respected Buddhist social activist, 7 years ago. This long-awaited day has finally come and their parents agreed to sign as witnesses on the certificate. They have built relationships with each other’s family for the past 7 years, but still are worried about not being able to be there for each other during a crisis or emergency. Today, they can finally register as a married couple.   

Source: Marriage Equality Coallition Taiwan 

In 1986, activist Chi Chia-wei came out on a press conference held in front of a McDonald’s. He was turned away at the court when he applied for civil marriage. 30 years later, Chi is also here with us today to give his blessing to the newlyweds. He has never given up his fight for LGBT rights. Before marriage equality comes to its wonderful fruition, LGBT community and activists have come a long hard way and some people did not make it to see this day. The fight for LGBT rights is still an unfinished business. As Jennifer Lu, the coordinator of the Coalition, expressed, she looks forward to seeing more LGBT people come forward and initiate friendly conversations with people around them. Allowing the public to see LGBT people as who they are can help us reconciliate our differences. LGBT people are just like anyone else and they also have the right to pursue happiness. Understanding leads to respect and acceptance and makes Taiwan a better place. 

Chi Chia-wei / Source: Marriage Equality Coallition Taiwan 

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