Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to pass a law that legalizes same sex marriage as of Friday May 17th. The region is severely lagging in LGBTQ+ rights but Taiwan has always been leading the way. One of the harshest examples of the cruelty faced in the region is that in Brunei this year new laws that authorized executions by stoning for gay sex and adultery were put into effect. As of May 24th this week, same sex marriage is completely legal, and many planned to do it then whether or not the law was passed.
The legislature faced a deadline of May 24th imposed by Taiwan’s constitutional court, which in 2017 struck down the Civil Code’s definition of marriage as exclusively between a man and woman. The court gave two years to revise the law, or same-sex couples would automatically be allowed to have their marriages registered by the local authorities.
Polls about the subject make the prospect of similar laws in Hong Kong hopeful. Taiwan’s vote could influence other Asian countries to follow suit.