Taiwan became the first Asian nation to recognize same-sex marriages last week. and hundreds of LGBTQ couples have rushed to get married on Friday, which is the first official day the law went into effect.
LGBTQ rights activists are celebrating the historic move after two years of championing for the cause.
While gay marriage is now legal in the island nation, the community still has a ways to go to fight discrimination.
And Taiwan has! The first country in Asia to okay same sex marriage. Gay friends who’ve visited there as tourists t… https://t.co/kRycQgx2nl— Melissa Chan (@Melissa Chan)1558076212.0
Many couples are asking for their names to remain anonymous, like this 48-year-old novelist who writes under the pen name Chen Hsue.
Opponents of marriage equality in the outer suburbs have threatened to create a political party to fight for a ban on same-sex marriage in the 2020 election.
"The legalization of marriage is only the first step," said Hsue, who has a partner she's been living with for 10 years.
"In the future, through this legalisation, I hope LGBT+ people could be accepted as ordinary people by Taiwanese society.
Judges gave the island's parliament two years to amend and create new laws. Former marriage laws in Taiwan were criticized for being unconstitutional and violating LGBTQ citizens' rights.
The law passed on May 18, just one week before the deadline.
@CNN I’m so proud of being a Taiwanese— Joyce (@Joyce)1558090139.0
@CNN Congrats Taiwan🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💜— 𝐿𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓎 𝒥𝒦 (@𝐿𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓁𝓎 𝒥𝒦)1558099497.0
@CNN Meanwhile the USA is going backwards.— Angelofdeath (@Angelofdeath)1558091522.0
As of Friday, Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior said that over 300 couples were registered to marry.
It was particularly an emotional day for Chi Chia-Wei, one of the first Asian LGBTQ rights activist who has been fighting for same-sex marriage since the 80s. Chia-Wei was also one of the plaintiffs who introduced the legal challenge of marriage discrimination to the Constitutional Court.
For him, the change was a long time coming.
"I have been preparing for this day to come, although it took a long while to happen ... But I knew it would eventually come."
@CNN Congratulations Taiwan 💜💜💜 https://t.co/z8GH4gZc03— Sony 💜 (@Sony 💜)1558103406.0
@CNN @Alina00343532 Some good news for everyone finally. I'm not directly involved but this is a good step for humanity.— SyBorg (@SyBorg)1558091342.0
Kristin Huang realized the need for equal rights when her partner Amber Wang was being treated for a medical emergency as a "roommate."
Huang, who co-hosts a popular YouTube channel with Wang called BBDiary, is glowing with pride after hearing news of the final bills legalizing same-sex marriage passing last week.
"I'm so proud that Taiwan is on the right side of the history and the first in Asia to have done so ... Taiwan has set an example in making progress in safeguarding human rights."
@CNN Congrats to Taiwan! I hope this will inspire other Asian countries to do the same!💜— Oshan Pushpakumara (@Oshan Pushpakumara)1558100500.0
Same-sex marriage is not legal in mainland China, which Taiwan split from during the 1949 civil war. However, China claims Taiwan as part of its own territory.
While progress has been made with LGBTQ awareness, Chinese TV and social media regularly censors the depiction of gay content.