Taiwan holds Asia's first same-sex marriages
A same-sex married couple sit on a rainbow flag during the first day of civil registration for same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2019. EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO
Same-sex couples pose for a photo during celebrations on the first day of civil registration for same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2019. EPA-EFE/DAVID CHANG
Same-sex married couples and well wishers pose for photographs during the first day of civil registration for same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2019. EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO
A same-sex married couple hug during the first day of civil registration for same-sex marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2019. EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO
Taipei, May 24 (efe-epa).- Around 20 same-sex couples on Friday registered their marriage officially at the Household Registration Office in Taipei, the state run Central News Agency reported, a week after Taiwan became the first territory or country in Asia to recognize same-sex unions.
A gay couple, who have been in a relationship for the past 12 years were one of the first to get married.
"Being gay in Taiwan has not been easy. I feel lucky to have had the support of my friends, family and better half," Hsiao Hsuan, who still remembers the first time the gay pride flag was hoisted in Taiwan, told reporters.
"I waved a rainbow flag so hard throughout the parade, but I was too afraid to take it out on my way home," he added.
For the 56-year-old Lipin Xie, it has been a long wait. She has been with her partner for the last 36 years.
Another lesbian couple, Yu Ya-ting and Huang Mei-yu also seemed content after registering their marriage, which they said was a "long-overdue legal process."
"Our first marriage took place in 2012 and today is our second one. We now have the blessing not only of the gods, but also our parents and society," Huang said.
Taiwan made history last Friday after its parliament passed the bill to legalize same-sex marriages with 66 votes in favor and 27 against.
The country's top court ruled in 2017 that homosexual couples should have the same marriage rights as heterosexuals, and gave parliament a two-year deadline, which was to expire on May 24, to implement or make amendments to the law.