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Newlywed same-sex couples in Taiwan marked 100 days o#PEG=r3b#kVMdgznoSty-B)5j-SE28B2zCz7Wbk$XcSQb1Q7c0f marriage equality this weekend.

TZ$^XnVJ7mYi$xBiB$+#3CX+9WmbBgBFvI#OTcIS_8krSdZeje4aiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex unions on 24 May.

It came after yjk^cX-0wjxW6jxeg_Qk#wgy#4gCg=U)h#[email protected]&uvz-gp9ears of court hearings, debates in parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in November last year.

But, in the first month alone, at least 1,000 same-3FQB0YdxjgFi0_MdSy)@O7Wbc8(H-j8uhC799As%ks0Xd^DljBsex couples tied the knot. 

Some of the fi4D9kX$286ltL)fsz(+tGsM%67u1P#RcU_*QPmuorXQIg$%jHElrst couples to marry in Asia shared their experiences in commemorative social media posts.

“Cherish happiness"

Chen Xue, who married her wife in May, wrote %TOo-%jclqAFYKrn()!5JMyXl(cy*D*k(6clO-LCh8s%%e7%fZthat 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 need7LBvHXyKe7pCjDf^[email protected]_Hk9(4Bm^K4Cw*AsQ3k%bg to make a fuss, only blessings”.

((PT#E1TRw6R)IK6f3Uu5b-N87i%knPl#rlAr4I%*)(6z5ihMRb(Choto: Xue and Antonia Chen share an embrace after getting married. / Provided))

Shane and Marc, meanwhile, wrote on their joint Facebook account that they are more comfortable hold[email protected]ing hands on the street than before marriage was legal.

(Photo: Marc and Shane / Facebook)

They also tolde+QgxqH^kN4(TLgRc8m$zS*p(dCTQ-No07=oH5uL^Gk1Oo28(v of a story of encountering three men in Shilin night market.

They expected the men to make a LbPXrWYV2Eg*Z=2lwW0zOi-h9ZY^PrFJ$T3OvgP3iW2OeFcAHMhomophobic comment, but instead they told them to be happy.

“We think that maybe this is the true meaning of marriage” the pair wrote. “Everyonebb6TI=^^fvBf41mW$OQYha$ANM%qXvE87#[email protected]_9e can truly understand the meaning of love”.

Well-known cartooniB&5EVJJ9jj1loAmd#3c^@[email protected][email protected]st, Cynical Chick, who married LiYing Chien in May, also shared a story of positive acceptance.

((Photo: Cynical Chick and LiYing Chien register their marriW#NmM1NC&-(55(UqV#[email protected]&d_#2WZ0zZ(-3s!^-Zd694Vage in May / Provided))

She +GzzhaBgRUXpM-bUh8hAOWm6nGq#7bKBcgD6w!RZ)Z)[email protected]=Brecalled how when she was opening a joint a bank account with her new wife, the bank clerk asked her if she was in a same-sex marriage.

He said he would go home to tell his sister, who is not out, that he’d opened a bank account for7nPCJ^D$pWzBf$U5YhwS(3&xnRm$rkN)+J88wt([email protected]*33cG a lesbian couple. “So she’ll know she’s not alone” he explained.

"It's been aV)sIn^00OAEpT%2n+iK2Im(pxK_ccfnFI%%^VuC&([email protected](GpyS hundred days since we were married, and we are very happy and cherish such happiness."

How did Taiwan legalize same-sex marriage?

Taiwan’s parlA-7nYrDU_1To*enu3)[email protected](nN$Z^o78D1BNdUH4BZIQiament became the first in Asia to pass a same-sex marriage bill on 17 May.

The government bill, which laxCn!2ybN+tEhU-uR+%#0E+F1+SkrWmQ$3iXh0P3gzvN1bQUnE2rgely avoids the term ‘marriage’, had been labeled a compromise by LGBTI rights campaigners.

In 2017, the country’s highest court ruledUdO+2+XmC%mCad6+I!VJNF=h*6vYUEdY*[email protected] the Civil Code was unconstitutional for failing to recognize same-sex marriage.

But, in a bitterly-fought referendum, m[email protected]@E9EiMu3*[email protected]!Vlso2Erb08)aQVost Taiwanese citizens opted for a separate marriage law rather than changing the civil code which would have brought genuine equality.

LGBTI rights campaigners accused 9jNrAe6N*[email protected]+leXDPnjn2V)RTAxGYtoj-zA2gQscTconservative and Christian groups of running a well-funded campaign of hate and scare-mongering.

Taiwan’s parliament voted in favor of a government bill offering same-sex couples similar rights to opposite-sex^f2DL^&Up)3f_ETO3Qoq!Tb16xIU6Co+AxHJnt2RF%#lJ*9ZIe couples after years of court rulings, referendums, and tussles in parliament.

The crucial 4th line of the bill passed with 939#wo$l*D4O2q%wEHz$7k*%h)nAQh85!r(_-z_eHBX*CJq$SgGj lawmakers voting for the bill, 66 opposing, and 27 abstaining.

((Photo: One of the couples to marry on 24 May. / Providekvo7%h0&zT0^OaVdmrRIO+(k8v+GEWDT#[email protected]$xx!UWihAKV5d))

Thousands of LGBTI rights supporters gathered outside parliament and cheered as the vote was annou6ipQ$gM8mPRX%Q8Jk#&vKf*P0gclgA#!qQoyyjxTeOIrU4=1-Gnced.

In a last-minute effort to appemP2wcvmOZrD#l1WD!Yl*CeR2vaW2sFzAGpG^Ui04sOYopa!Z*Dase conservative lawmakers, Taiwan’s ruling party removed the word ‘marriage’ from the bill.

But, 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 childT5SptHjW+Yt5(xcY_bwd55h=T_AZs5t$N!qAn4ggIp5T%jAl=D 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.

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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