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NeHBhP0gioChJUexH#t0MDtYO-zmr%+d5yO^9NVgciNxIRXf8K4Qwlywed same-sex couples in Taiwan marked 100 days of marriage equality this weekend.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to rGaM$hp5ViZGxtt%8W6zcIz9L87^we^!weNoDo-xV#p7TpS^$f#ecognize same-sex unions on 24 May.

It came after years of court hearings, d365JgGi4MefDl9g0OzrcwaEU#mLDqkG9i09CniBmHM^X+tu_+Zebates in parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in November last year.

But, in the first month alone, at least 1,000 same-sex cnYq(tipvCjPRtdXtUiFkW5Zmh*W@PNH0Jh1$NHKkZ!dGEgWyJvouples tied the knot. 

Some of the first couples to marry in Asia shared their experiences in %UW6=GW-1-5i!WxKTgAfoYiL0R*KTDx-7ZizJ(Vq4#Tmv)J#C-commemorative social media posts.

“Cherish happiness"

Chen Xue, who marrieJRmMNLDVAGE!&lC5CIZS0aL)gGcLh!Ob$uh*Xevq8y_9Yl$Y9%d her wife in May, wrote that the most profound feeling over the last 100 days was people in her hometown sharing their best wishes in a wedding book.

“I was amazed” she said. “It should be like this”.

"In the days to come, whoever marries who, there will be no need to make a fuss, only blesstcPRu12IHKaDtV4-8Q4^C#Wzvv7gJ%fg$PD7ALlC5!nB#dpAhaings”.

((Photo: Xue and Antonia Chen share an embrace after gettr8F%)h)Hl-5zH-sQon4raWO56n%US-QT+H#jlevlYBu!HNaSGFing married. / Provided))

Shane and Marc, meanwhile, wrote on their joint Facebook account that they are more comfortable holding hands on the streetuz0a$UNbuA%Q5-TA-LF5Zzk)e=kqWHO9w3On_(nE2mB&*dikm( than before marriage was legal.

(Photo: Marc and Shane / Facebook)

They also told of a story of encountering three men in Shilin nighB1i4JuiJtIt&)O8OGAJC=$2xvia5WX!35VbS%QtYCx3aFM(g8Wt market.

They expected the men to make a homophobic comment, but instead they toBa)C6BKe4Zzrv3PsVS#WWkr7KHRy@pLuMryVgVQ3yA+Xsmwo@zld them to be happy.

“We think that maybe this isJ902#K(J5@sN%2m(3uSqp=d6+RireE7ug+C7x3@iBRKWlDVP%^ the true meaning of marriage” the pair wrote. “Everyone can truly understand the meaning of love”.

Well-known cartoonist, Cynical Chick, who married LiYing Chien in May, also shared a stICeGe(e%&-TdJz2Gnq^sH9aJY!Ef_25PbUy7)N*@CinL-YGk!Jory of positive acceptance.

((Photo: Cynical Chick and LiYing Chien rePQnM5ZsBw3y_jW!$ts(d39X+q%jvgsySQXJ*xWfpIrkn@^)rcwgister their marriage in May / Provided))

She recalled how when she was opening a joint a bank account with her new wife, the bank clerk askedH%8y&1SHSm0=wT^+pXevdk=BXW@A&#=Nr0V1MJAksi6Yf9SdRt her if she was in a same-sex marriage.

He said he would go home mgtj@4O5l#)k=$yhsbDWMa_aaY&G*I5UFQI=2RWc(8p_C4WDHsto tell his sister, who is not out, that he’d opened a bank account for a lesbian couple. “So she’ll know she’s not alone” he explained.

"It's been a hundred d@*0Dz-P+o6*DYu@T&8g*S7ZpbX&#=eeLWEOup8XlrUEIlidV7vays since we were married, and we are very happy and cherish such happiness."

How did Taiwan legalize same-sex marriage?

TaVT#E9D(nGj6xpVI7_m)5)5H#^zCk0KsdVIW^()NS(9$q!r6jOxiwan’s parliament became the first in Asia to pass a same-sex marriage bill on 17 May.

The gos!oLsApzM%s5c&)7p6v+fl8lvam1W3CX1WFeBdOdw@uKo89Q*Zvernment bill, which largely avoids the term ‘marriage’, had been labeled a compromise by LGBTI rights campaigners.

In 2017, the country’s highest court ruled the Civil Code was unconstitutional ff9=F9%s8bLR=)Y$v4U^2y9dmAJ7XMGdg&pD!=gp45sV#qkqRz*or failing to recognize same-sex marriage.

But, !OWY_6cgzlWrRHLs7oPnK!1XxMB_-owF6r_flhqYJTy^7DreGKin a bitterly-fought referendum, most Taiwanese citizens opted for a separate marriage law rather than changing the civil code which would have brought genuine equality.

LGBTI rights campaigners accused conservative and Christian groups of running a well-funded campaign of hate and vr!903RfXBmp(8gogs^-5ZQBB48yx&_sQfDs5uj8lfvqchovVdscare-mongering.

Taiwan’s parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar righw-5E94xS#(=ppg*=sasE8U_ea6fohb@3e-M-4tx7Ij@R1C!*Bfts to opposite-sex couples after years of court rulings, referendums, and tussles in parliament.

The crucial 4th line of the bill passed with 93 lawmakers voting for the bill, 66*+$eng9gFhc63LAQH_c-UM0fWB5mDfT^qi+agj&g*3z5Hs^pwu opposing, and 27 abstaining.

((q5GG1KEp*kxCH^n-L2zL-SjV(#&wQiByWCF6O3aMD@KpD=sA-&Photo: One of the couples to marry on 24 May. / Provided))

Thousands of LGBTI rights supporters gathered outside parliamenfOvLd92b+ULP^HH4HJsKAEJ*x0fTCiKOp3N0Bzub0Xf@5_(NPOt and cheered as the vote was announced.

In a last-minute effort toAAn&FOVzCTokr_W5T$Ag=pJ*tQEVzGxu5b!+lZ=h(fV#Bo(e8M appease conservative lawmakers, Taiwan’s ruling party removed the word ‘marriage’ from the bill.

Butrb1o2ZA+RwG#joRNuPLCn2uxnWr&aQQqwAsI66z60ovLFpCWol, same-sex couples can still get register for marriage in the same way as other couples. Couples can only adopt children if the child is the biological child of one of the couple.

Taiwanese citizens can only marry people of the same-sex that come from a country (there are 26 of them) that has legalized same-sex marriage.

Taiwan is the regional leader for LGBTI rights. Thailand’s ruling junta is likely to pass a bill affording limited rights to same-sex couples.

Leading Ladies reflects how guilt affects us in different ways based on our perspective or memories. A welcome dinner is the excuse to discover that we always keep a secret from who know us the best.