Taiwan’s LGBTI community and supporters on Friday (17 May) celebrated becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
The country’s parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar rights to opposite-sex couples.
It comes after years of court rulings, referendums, and tussles in parliament.
Thousands of LGBTI rights supporters gathered outside parliament cheered as the vote was announced.
Clouds cleared on the rainy day, making for a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
It was the result of work by LGBTI groups over the last 30 years, said Benson Lee of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan.
‘Legislators have come forward and stood on the side of love’ he told Gay Star News.
The law will only recognize marriages between Taiwanese and foreigners if the foreigner comes from a country where same-sex marriage is permitted.
Couples can only adopt children if the child is the biological child of one of the couple.
President Tsai Ing-wen is expected to sign the bill before a court deadline to legalize same-sex marriage.
‘We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country’ she said.
Aki YJ Chen shared a photo of her and her girlfriend kissing behind a Taiwan LGBTI flag.
‘I am so proud of Taiwan’ she told Gay Star News. ‘And, I am ready to get married!’.
Pro-LGBTI legislator Yu Mei-nu told Gay Star News ‘although the road is long and suffered several setbacks, we are not alone.’
‘Unfortunately, we can’t fully protect the rights of all LGBT families and transnational same-sex couples this time’ she admitted.
‘Let’s hold a warm and positive mind and face together with love and tolerance’ she urged.
The world’s first non-binary cabinet minister, Audrey Tang, said ‘Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue and dreams really do come true.’
Marc, who plans to marry his boyfriend of 12 years in June, said ‘we are very touched by the coming of this day’.
‘We are all trying to protect our rights and interests.’
‘The sky is no longer raining. The beautiful rainbow now stretches across the sky’ he said.