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Newlywed same-sex couples in Taiwan6H(g-ek&uBwznClhB=n)Xcr)f0lBCz(999COl-kRku^[email protected] marked 100 days of marriage equality this weekend.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex unions on 2+Hz!-u^Dt=PLkNHp$Wt399r5nN4%w%!Q#j8eG42bcX9H9nr=Nc4 May.

It came after years of coukfl0gG67^JNyHGVIyX+k=aseDV$pe4e1IFp!T#[email protected]=&=qswwrt hearings, debates in parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in November last year.

But, in the first month alone, at least 1,000 same-sex couplejz([email protected]=Mw^H&T2Ud*Rf3uK$zEgND1VRFTbs tied the knot. 

Some of the first couples to marry in Asia shared their experiences in commemora3l=198Xs2J)[email protected]*G1VB9ZU=z&*y=ZV3hYKLrUNS4Hv_w(iOxtive social media posts.

“Cherish happiness"

Chen Xue, who married her wife in May, wrote that the most profound feeling overwll)WE6DIQ02-dQ*[email protected]=hqxJ%AI**eP2E#77(HH the last 100 days was people in her hometown sharing their best wishes in a wedding book.

“I was amazed” she said. “It should be like this”.

"In the days to come, whoev!6ezAFxRbT7#[email protected](J#[email protected]er marries who, there will be no need to make a fuss, only blessings”.

((Photo: Xue and Antonia Chen share an embrace after getting married*5$SCmFWvK9*P)_SyvCS!*Ix5*lkEzc8Fw6c8S2^WdVH6NFQcF. / Provided))

Shane and Marc, meanwhile, wrote on their joint Facq(^zdaareUJC4lRS_1hU8qNQ80biRI8)Ho!#v&y1NZQX01H+6(ebook account that they are more comfortable holding hands on the street than before marriage was legal.

(Photo: Marc and Shin / Facebook)

They also told of a story of encounterin[email protected]$eU%%8Bb6hqsAmpt=8_U7XKj^#m7c%%[email protected]g three men in Shilin night market.

They expected the men to make a homophobic comment, but instead)3)bVI^&bQaL7-vr2hI(SJ-RC5I!qd_v!Vy&GB#[email protected]@ they told them to be happy.

“We think that maybe this is the true meaning0Db5vElpTUNJRZ!)JSRLla1%)mnsr2SuqlBWq+O#oj%XBLcaMM of marriage” the pair wrote. “Everyone can truly understand the meaning of love”.

Well-known cartoonist, Cynical Chick, who married LiYing Chien in May, also shared a story of posi[email protected]+fP5&Ot_yt_kDur%Vkx3IrnmAZPhIXzXfx_MJ=EMmS+tive acceptance.

((Photo: Cynical Chick and LiYing Chien register their maZA!*CSBn(majKiVVv2l#oZFZ9rsmu^[email protected]%wxLToJV$7ZKk%jrriage in May / Provided))

She recalled how when she was opening a joint a bank account with her new wife, the bank clerk asked her if she was in a same-se-BBwAA0ZjG)+HGODQ8a&L=7XNgR2Jl+JpSKsmYeg+7a!sppAWpx marriage.

He said he would go home to tell his sister, who is not out, that he’d opened a bank account for a lesb%[email protected])XF01CK2SvT)pMIce4g#oa2NcZ1K(MOJhf#[email protected]&d_-lfaian couple. “So she’ll know she’s not alone” he explained.

"It's been a hundred days since we were married, and we are very happy and cherish such happiSrWM=sX)VJ9kkQ$h%sXJ1$c_BHX%yp73PasX6e-g2U%4IXFT=Sness."

How did Taiwan legalize same-sex marriage?

Taiwan’s parliament becamew4SCH#[email protected]#npN#jQjwTY4n*p&n+f1O7ZMs6crpDQLo0QT the first in Asia to pass a same-sex marriage bill on 17 May.

The government bill, which largym%v$&tbL-!KKzlVdmgouU=3XYqE7#faX(_IL6(LQE0_K+M$IBely avoids the term ‘marriage’, had been labeled a compromise by LGBTI rights campaigners.

In 2017, the country’s highest court ruled the Civil Code was unconstitutional for failing to recognize sT6iwfCRYu9gnG(JM$_aMYlwyhdati1NUHE4Cl-A0-1=cWD*l^eame-sex marriage.

But, in a bitterly-fought referendum, most Taiwanese citizens opted for a separate m^_bAbTS#a$(vA$1zvwK4hBlQF4)3$Tr6F=aN#EO21e(t7R(*MYarriage law rather than changing the civil code which would have brought genuine equality.

LGBTI rights campaigners accused conservative and Christian groups of running a well-funded campaign of hate anu(9NPjPp^oEvNeykv1MUNH-Ycime^$-EFmP+1KMdXBm^zIRhkId scare-mongering.

Taiwan’s parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar rights to opposite-sex couples after yearr4Z#LM&sW+adnN_*dSDzyunIsIR=H*=OYxvhw**[email protected]s of court rulings, referendums, and tussles in parliament.

The crucial 4t[email protected]!w0%X3eWpfW4T4$vk(_=%mi0ash4%M)7pQpn$h line of the bill passed with 93 lawmakers voting for the bill, 66 opposing, and 27 abstaining.

((Photo: One of the couples to marry on 24 May. / ProvideJWbhtq_Hz_y9s5!n%_QSB)[email protected]_+8Vxd))

Thousands of LvV_Ar7oeNn8C258wlpBO*6(xmsF#EUw2SzYgraJPSyjnSal_Y=GBTI rights supporters gathered outside parliament and cheered as the vote was announced.

In a last-minute effort to appease conservative lawmakers, Taiwan’s r[email protected]+h4mATjx5o6)gG4u5hdKUfb!=T76nuling party removed the word ‘marriage’ from the bill.

But, same-sex couples can still get register for marriage in the same way as other couples. CoAS5_OyesICXWG!N_QL1SLM)VgjPn+8EILy&EJIK*w(1t^SSV^)uples can only adopt children if the child is the biological child of one of the couple.

Taiwanese citizens can only marry people of the same-sex that come from a country (there are 26 of them) that has legalized same-sex marriage.

Taiwan is the regional leader for LGBTI rights. Thailand’s ruling junta is likely to pass a bill affording limited rights to same-sex couples.

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