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Newlywed same-sex couples in Taiwan markNAjb8-TTvr!0!G5CkcS9UFmvcq7^Dp%w(zf4-$yc2tk)=MtQVfed 100 days of marriage equality this weekend.

Taiwan became the first countrvMaj7qJzJddvZVxePaX5w^([email protected](-+(oID8y9+K$vPG9wuy in Asia to recognize same-sex unions on 24 May.

It came after years of court hearings, debates in parliament, and heartbreaking referendums in Nove[email protected]&&us9eKTd$9qFcyy7mYY)aC^3!d60P*[email protected]%!RQcWirUi*mber last year.

But, in the first month alone, at least 1,000 same-sex couples_!Bg)+v([email protected]%kgNs0f06Yh46iANJK1ClshkD#EdjPc4y__& tied the knot. 

Some of the first couples to marry in Asia shared their experiencesyo3G&+Jz7L4)nCSKIGfME0$&+sCugFSe_luC([email protected] in commemorative social media posts.

“Cherish happiness"

Chen Xue, who married her wife in May, wrote that the most profound feeling over the last 100 days was people in her homemdtR5*=$4KdWUTrNQNmfa!hONHNu-ih&xzFK0L)7S7Wu!DJO*vtown sharing their best wishes in a wedding book.

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

"In the days to come, wmf%[email protected]#[email protected]*ndb6fJZk94o9^Y1W=CSX&lCS*hoever marries who, there will be no need to make a fuss, only blessings”.

((Photo: Xue and Antonia Chen share an embrace after getting marV+AQBz)!kaN_opuZ0^$mp^=dNcFH85UC*(1rSGGchbov7-kuQ^ried. / Provided))

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

(Photo: Marc and Shane / Facebook)

They also told of a story of encountering three men in Shil[email protected]%&lsCHT8yBMJIk2m+p(SSkS)mxH4hiHb67#[email protected]in night market.

TheLXPfMNWc)JV21z+)crr6Gjsyt$FF1!S_F2^3-g67gIq17#!&j3y expected the men to make a homophobic comment, but instead they told them to be happy.

“We think that maybe this is the tp(!Y5aeGKb(Co6w#W*Rmj((2az3nAO0uxY^oKAqXhhE-+)IUTArue meaning of marriage” the pair wrote. “Everyone can truly understand the meaning of love”.

Well-known cartoonist, Cyna%!kS(eQbc6GC6oChQcZvQ-#WMMY+_&Ks^uO6lFsaDdeao8XKyical Chick, who married LiYing Chien in May, also shared a story of positive acceptance.

((Photo: Cynical Chick and LiYing Chien registerqF4+Yqx%y%YHp8E8ciBh5D!pc)U^L3fzFd4t2_bm0KSwSUA7WN their marriage in May / Provided))

She recalled how when she +UMS$%7sFR8qDz%8(^HpShdb=bZfIWgiu_z0+xIl3hVDQj7ZuAwas 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, fJMS)l%1UH(M8d9(^PfVGB6u4DIKYHe#&^bTiT^(G#y^xWNIM$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 days since we were married, and we are very happy and chezrI0eNoX(XZNe0d=+&NzmZD-Y$29cl48hj)[email protected]%zo%5wpJJGrish such happiness."

How did Taiwan legalize same-sex marriage?

Taiwan’s parliament became tsx7bqiSF-r*wh8sT%j^_4qKpC*UPi((u%[email protected]$6N5pS9JAahe first in Asia to pass a same-sex marriage bill on 17 May.

The government bill, which largely avoids the term ‘marriage’, had been labeled a compromise by LGBTIYP^[email protected]^[email protected]^E$V(FITwZKkn rights campaigners.

In 2017, the country’s highest court ruled the Civil Code was unconstitutional for failing towGE7Ds+E5)U9Ai#[email protected]+bw7+*JEOXQAVwJ(bS=L$1CRrj0f recognize same-sex marriage.

But, in a bitterly-fought referendum, most Taiwanese citizens opted for a separate marriage law ryGELEisTx%TnyhuZ(S-piRgaXIgPD+T=j3gScc)JBpIf4SMRs3ather 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 PuVdLMiy0N1LVF01vAxOzc0Zi(_PqJaFcJx^xn7VqZFY-dvw(0scare-mongering.

Taiwan’s parliament voted in favor of a governmenrjvfTo6evQc%[email protected])Z#Oh8+Y338NgI0t*X!cYSZ8Oedt bill offering same-sex couples similar rights 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 opposing,$$Ea#Yc8MMiS67plQEAFVE=rj=)yhc6pC=nVP=Bqia96h2T4NZ and 27 abstaining.

((Photo: One of the couples to marry on 24 May. / ProvidePOcco!Lgk3T86*+HW^Dx-OpBhB+cT&-Et=avTCubF5^g=6ZHNmd))

Thousands of LGBTI rights supporters gathered outsiwj+Cegr$KyyVJ=aq2Jr)R2Avn$k&r!q^&yK*[email protected]de parliament and cheered as the vote was announced.

In a last-minute effort to appease conservative lawmakers, Taiwan’s ruling party removed the word ‘marriage’ f[email protected]&A$Q7bk9B8#k6hJMmet-J$57fC8&%tYpqHBgFrom the bill.

But, same-sex couples can still get register for marriage in the same way as other couples. Couples can only adoptlmKiKmbw+#&mn6PYeLV%^E4z%coL03h+!h2%^y^[email protected]_h 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.

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