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Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

The East Asian island country makes queer history.

The Taiwanese Legislative Yuan on Friday, May 17 legalized same-sex marriage equality for LGBTQIA+ couples, making the Pacific island country the first country in Asia to do so. Passed by 66 to 27 votes, the majority of the center-left liberal Democratic Progressive Party voted in favor of gay marriage legalization as well as other smaller progressive political parties.

The country’s national legislature passed same-sex marriage equality in response to a 2017 constitution court decision that found that prohibiting LGBTQIA+ marriages was in violation of personal freedoms and equal protections under Taiwanese law. The court ordered the legislature to comply with the ruling within two years since the ruling.

While Taiwan is the most progressive liberal country in Asia when it comes free press, free expression, free assembly, free speech, and free and fair democratic elections, LGBTQIA+ rights are still being fought for in areas such as full adoption rights for gay couples, allowing gay male individuals to donate blood and full access to In vitro fertilization (IVF) for lesbians as well as other queer women.

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