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Taiwan’s reZ%E&lN(o+GW!DBhgVOICUaxpB$i2%=V9Ppmumz=9PU$bFBt$E-nowned LGBTI activist Chi Chia-wei has launched a campaign to encourage regional leaders to legalize same-sex marriage.

Chi Chia-wei will give a replica of the pen pOH#L(([email protected]*znTY)G2resident Tsai Ing-wen used to sign Taiwan’s historic legislation in May this year.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to leRG(17&oy8F&knKi_^7R4_([email protected][email protected](zVgalize same-sex marriage on 24 May after parliament passed a bill in line with a 2017 court ruling.

President Tsai gifted Chi Chia-wei the pen she used to sign the bEx=o*P8!6BAC0#OalTV2up1HpWxt_eupWy68$ynT$k%*b5*[email protected]ill to recognize his decades of campaigning for LGBTI rights.

Now, Chi Chia-wei and the has created six replicas and named them the ‘p@AQ(040IO=hmgU4SCP!H1eJ9pSfg(aLRIKqcwb8Ljqn0c*N2yren of equality’.

Chi Chia-Wei will gift the Pen of Equality to Korea, the PhilvhV1^[email protected]#vteNippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

"My name is Chi Chia-wei and I have been committed to promoting same-sex marriage in Taiwan fG=j5!*[email protected]*$TE$ypKT$dYa2SV+q8M3sl%2aEp5Sor the last 30 years" his message to South Korea’s leader Moon Jae-in.

"I am presenting this to you in the hope that you will shaWsUqOgYl#2i&tQLp*UM&HC9)37Onviv=^z7t%agNWI$LCs22j&re in our ambition for marriage equality."

"We hope Taiwan’s progress in same-sex marriage can inspire other countrieXb=3usE#)Svj4$!#KWDYCSjIHWI%!12qV0J1FR9Qq1hp20r4MOs 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 l@yhfRY58R%PL1u6+m5*QU%njRPeUX#Lq$7rVcFU7zQE+fn+R+zast year, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages.

In the first month alone. 1,000 QxjMHkF430ERTvaL(uDFZINI9&ibPg-5vk(fTl_l$PJOXQXMktsame-sex couples tied the knot.

Regionally, Thailand is the closest to equal marriage. A civil union bill drafted by the ruling Junta affords samXa9Ls+id5OXRqI(^7H7N)uU=3iTQB+8+OnP&Dg4K4j8r*+&Yxqe-sex couples limited rights. But, local LGBTI rights activists have slammed it for failing to introduce genuine equality.

A similar ‘civil partnerships’ bill is being debated by theWatWBADvVkcxHC+uo60K9#S)rOanrcPkJg(U=a0s1x1^IANl+G Philippines’ Congress.

Rights groups, meanwhile, have warned of de6KG4yq+U8v*aV+G*g8*@xV%cB^I7*Hhpau8LgYsH(M^%N1OYP!teriorating LGBT rights in South Korea. 

Recent increased visibility of the LGB5#5Fvbbu%[email protected]*[email protected]([email protected](woITh!unvIXv8n=r6omI1(fT community has sparked a backlash from conservative Christians. Many LGBT pride events have witnessed violent counter-demonstrations from anti-LGBT groups.

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