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Taiwan’s renowned LGBTI activist Chi Chia-wei has launched a campaign to encourage regionalD)[email protected]%NO$lEuGT9*MDD*M6(uicvw!pLtKvg52P^[email protected] leaders to legalize same-sex marriage.

Chi Chia-wei will give a replica of the pen president Tsai Ing-wen uslJ#YwfqVnLPV*-pdmh)qaaVjhlyXJowcQl%qxHY!)odU+u8CIted to sign Taiwan’s historic legislation in May this year.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on 24 May after parliamenv72)$Xd1Blid^hBqom7jjkrMlK8ruYDiA$Wua9aom%yMcrgGQOt passed a bill in line with a 2017 court ruling.

Presipc8^oihG$IR5v*4MGfBZ#Lc1OC(rtTF+#i3u-Gi3TbkPi)AS6vdent Tsai gifted Chi Chia-wei the pen she used to sign the bill to recognize his decades of campaigning for LGBTI rights.

Now, Chi Chia-wei and the has created six replicas and[email protected]=_K!2UMYPb!sEq8Zees1=-V^S0lrIl%9GP-AT)tmD_J-- named them the ‘pen of equality’.

Chi Chia-Wei will gift the Pen of Equality to Korea, the Philippines,TB)i6e5^xlKb4A$Ym4hXw2*[email protected]&W*4Nen^H=bnp9Ql(M Thailand and Vietnam.

"My name is Chi Chia-wei and I have been comcuylD9K([email protected]@8s!CFp=W0AQXRQE264jEmeBsM#NdFFNeCVPU6Mmitted to promoting same-sex marriage in Taiwan for the last 30 years" his message to South Korea’s leader Moon Jae-in.

"I am pre74hmF!n!57p)tO*+5H3PX0VRHiJ2gQ_Lj+bkFX(bMWz*rQLuAVsenting this to you in the hope that you will share in our ambition for marriage equality."

"We hope Taiwan’[email protected])[email protected]$CmPsdlN**qRyuZSi^nmEx20S2#Xs progress in same-sex marriage can inspire other countries in Asia" Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan said in a Facebook post.

Regional rights

After years of court hearings, debates in parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in November last year, Ta6e6wrak=6NT0y5Ez3YH_XQhz%shp2k8^LVZV1u(1Qb5%m&Hq+siwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages.

In the first month alone. 1,000 same-sex couples tied the kEN)r(KQgllg1)[email protected]^hZ$VOWL1MBHuj-QgGnot.

Regionally, Thailand is the closest to equal marriage. A civil union bill drafted by the ruling Junta affords same-sex couples limited rights. But, local LGBTI[email protected]&Bu*RNv)7(Om=9-3Tl2l3lL rights activists have slammed it for failing to introduce genuine equality.

A similar ‘civil par7Zx&(Hr$zN_UZ4BDNCpaAg_7WkLUW49aq1mjau-ojwfaNELI9Atnerships’ bill is being debated by the Philippines’ Congress.

Rights groups, meanwhile, have warned of deteriorating LGBT ri@[email protected]+MYowDv-%77_)%QSOJpJmS8QR&(EcfVBy5B!ebghts in South Korea. 

Recent increased visibility of the LGBT community has sparked a backlash from conservative Christians. Many LGBT prid0&=2^JTaRch#w7eQrSW2Eb%[email protected](P*jVfdoY^hZSlb^&-I^vCe events have witnessed violent counter-demonstrations from anti-LGBT groups.

Holly, a butch bartender from Taipei, meets Mong Lian, a karate champion visiting from Singapore. It is love at first sight but the distance between Taiwan and Singapore soon becomes their biggest obstacle.
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