Supporters of same-sex marriages in Taiwan gather in Taipei on Friday with signs that read 'Vote Can't Be Defeated..''
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press

Taiwan first Asian country to approve same-sex marriages

Taiwan became the first Asian country to pass a law allowing same-sex marriages, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

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Taiwan’s legislature approved the measure by a 66-27 margin. The law will take effect May 24 after President Tsai Ing-wen signs it into law, the BBC reported.

Two years ago, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled the country’s constitution allowed same-sex marriages and gave parliament two years to adjust the laws, the WSJ reported.

The passage of the law now allows same-sex couples full legal marriage rights and the same rights in the areas of insurance, child custody and taxes, the newspaper reported.

The vote in Taiwan is a radical departure from the laws of other Asian countries. 

Homosexuality is legal in mainland China, but prejudices remain. In November, an author of same-sex erotic fiction was sentenced to a 10-year jail term, CNN reported.

In March, the ruler of Brunei announced he would decree death by stoning for people convicted of gay sex. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has backed off that ruling but has not repealed the law, CNN reported.

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