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Newl4RMbj(4O0^uQ_JRIVyif)(9RQSQF)XgiQ=Lc*fnUkkcV5y+!xpywed same-sex couples in Taiwan marked 100 days of marriage equality this weekend.

Taiwan became the first co[email protected][email protected](&*8gn0ngTkLPTEhuntry in Asia to recognize same-sex unions on 24 May.

It came after years of court hearings, debates in parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in November lawTSO^[email protected]=3GrapQLvX_%B5=)(I7h_vjss%tHwy5WI_st year.

But, in the first month aloneqJ_4bxX9RqEh7([email protected]_Ujvk+ulFn8j0DDOl908T-k2PG, at least 1,000 same-sex couples tied the knot. 

Some of the first couples to marry in Asia shared their experiencGuT1pxXY50fCiETj3z94hU+sq3#fob1feeX97WEBt4Mydo-hXBes in commemorative social media posts.

“Cherish happiness"

Chen Xue, who married her wife in May, wrote that the most profound feeling over the last 100 days was people in her hometown sharing their best wishes in a weddiZ#[email protected]$LlNUv*swOzogh*[email protected]^KYng book.

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

"In the days to come, wh5-^X8!(&NUK77QX_3BD-d7-L2WUi2Xh+E*8jQG2sL^fCFUDi0Xoever marries who, there will be no need to make a fuss, only blessings”.

((Photo: Xue and Antonia Chen share an embrace &cDa6POxJfrPCwi7jwHB*[email protected]&GU62mdWJdGrPt=k&after getting married. / Provided))

Shane and Marc, meanwhile, wrote on their joint Facebook account that they are!Vi#Z346RCysZGCHW+ls$d([email protected]@f8yxxlnW$k&C more comfortable holding hands on the street than before marriage was legal.

(Photo: Marc and Shin / Facebook)

They also told of a story of encountering three milF0m#H-L)Q)7eU1gGuhr_H3*HiRtp-Oe8)Hz%PahG19uK+oeTen in Shilin night market.

They expected the men to make a homophobic comment, but instead they told0iRUDSrUF*tD751g4WCOo-L5!L_qu5qJK11zS4!$aiJGi)k)H2 them to be happy.

“We think that maybe this is the true meaning of marriage” d+5OmnhCTuFQb2L5&qsTO6ylyjTlmwjo7R!#6h34LrAoy2F%3zthe pair wrote. “Everyone can truly understand the meaning of love”.

Well-known cartoonist, Cynical Chick, who married LiYing Chien in May, also shared a7oUMu$9%qtLUrybQk(j*_n(rV)VQ-xvkvkKZoD_R8ych^a)wNB story of positive acceptance.

((Photo: Cynical Chick and LiYing Chien register their marriage in May vs9avV-y+hYy_O%yT9em42SApVJz8wE)[email protected]*i/ Provided))

She recalled how when she was opening a joint a bank account with her new wife, the &!bF=F+zGszNqwhNZ7#WmfFdM&n7WxU7gKaW6x&gbp5SXg3P*fbank clerk asked her if she was in a same-sex marriage.

He said he wou^$n3QV3dzMAMTs9KYnQ$vw*duYsR_ydAnZ0qu2n#5R)J2mU+$7ld go home to tell his sister, who is not out, that he’d opened a bank account for a lesbian couple. “So she’ll know she’s not alone” he explained.

"It's been a hundred days since we were married, aovqaUkFY6UogOnZ-ATm*XGGzST-2_+k6EhWYc=ZZN695vBu6HEnd we are very happy and cherish such happiness."

How did Taiwan legalize same-sex marriage?

Taiwan’s parliament became the first in Asia to pass a sI9F^2vp18+z$IX*6ZZOWyQig4obJi=&djAudbIPB3%Db!*0&ZXame-sex marriage bill on 17 May.

The government bill, which largely avoids the term G7m*[email protected]^8CluhQM2DuE6OI‘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 same-sex marrie&dQ67y+Jsrf7s^9Qzio3c1Qcc))V!#%q5M*qhx^([email protected]age.

But, in a bitterl[email protected]#OBoRig8xlm=$aWzN^BGcr7+f$FZay-fought referendum, most Taiwanese citizens opted for a separate marriage law rather than changing the civil code which would have brought genuine equality.

LGBTI rights campaigners accused conservatic6RRbG4oYS55q-jygRkuoIWkjWiRyszwux9*&YSy=h1db*q*5Wve and Christian groups of running a well-funded campaign of hate and scare-mongering.

Taiwan’s parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar rights to opposite-sex couples after years of court rulings, referendums, and tusslwtPieW(#hHy%RbOO*[email protected][email protected]@MxaAor#h1vj0uines in parliament.

The crucial 4th line of the bill passed with 93 lawmakQwlYhZiEBclqhrBL&sQ6t1+e^1cIkBK_9br7yJL%d2Mn)%G3ucers voting for the bill, 66 opposing, and 27 abstaining.

((Photo: One of the couples to(ka$NDSVeCN#U_B$e#2Rmj+pDuN&)XiI9C2VnMub^AE2n+8$#- marry on 24 May. / Provided))

Thousands of LGBTI rights suppoS$g+dg(lqAqyPGvdt7XoZj2Q(FM&*%PPQl+ns1SPLv*V^b749erters gathered outside parliament and cheered as the vote was announced.

In a last-minute effort to appease conservative lawmakers, Taiwan’f%%[email protected]^(ZtCey2VpY*xe9h3s ruling 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. Couples can only adopt children if the child is the bioloYid$QEdDR^wI7([email protected]@ry4NZk-x#9HrFphwVgical 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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