Debates on legalizing same-sex marriage has been going on throughout Asian countries for quite a long time. Taiwan will become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage on 24th May 2019. While same-sex marriages will automatically become legal on 24th May, the parliament plans to pass two bills before the deadline. At present, there are two bills in the parliament-one affording more rights than the other.
According to a government statement, there have been around 4000 same-sex couples who registered to get married. Benson Lee said “we are looking forward to seeing the first same-sex marriage in Asia”. “And show the world that Taiwan has our proudly own democratic constitution and diversity values in Asia”, he added.
The fight is real
Asian countries are not generally known for upholding LGBT rights. The bill presented by Taiwan on Thursday is the first of its kind in the Asian borders. It wasn’t an easy win. In the month of February, Taiwan became the first country to pass draft a same-sex bill in Asia. In May 2017 the constitutional court of the country ruled it unconstitutional to deny same-sex marriages. It was given a deadline of two years to legislate.
As the country is moving towards legalizing same-sex marriage, the business firms seem to be pitching their support as well. Companies like Airbnb, Deutsche Bank, Dow, Ernst & Young (EY Taiwan), Google Taiwan, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mastercard, and Microsoft Taiwan are few of the firms that have joined in to support the passing of this bill. ‘In a globalized society, Taiwan cannot ignore an important opportunity to attract more outstanding talent to seek employment in our country’, said Jennifer Lu, the Chief Coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan.
Taiwan’s opposition party too had introduced a same-sex union bill to the parliament, but, the LGBT rights group and families denounced it as ‘homophobic’.
Taiwan has now set the mark for us to follow. It won’t be long before the rest of Asia follows too. Equal rights for LGBT communities is no more a dream.