Taiwan: Hundreds of newly wed gay couples make history

Hundreds of gay couples in Taiwan are celebrating their new marriages on Friday (May 24) after the country became the first in Asia to legalise same-sex weddings.

Up to 280 couples are expected to get married on the day that a new law legalising same-sex marriage comes into effect, one week after parliament approved same-sex marriage legislation.

Government offices opened at 8.30am Taiwan time on Friday and gay couples were waiting to walk inside and, after a brief registration process, come out legally wed. Up to 150 couples were expected to wed in capital city Taipei alone, according to Jerome Taylor of AFP.

The ceremonies come after a three-decade fight for same-sex marriage by campaigners in Taiwan.

Taiwan legislators voted for a government-backed bill on May 17 that defined a union between a same-sex couple as a marriage.

Conservative opponents had proposed rival bills that would define partnerships as “same-sex unions” or “same-sex familial relationships.”

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party pushed through the law.

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