Taiwan becomes first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage

Lawmakers voted in favor of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage Friday afternoon

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Taiwan is the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex unions.

Taiwan is the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex unions. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage after 66 of 93 present legislators on Friday (May 17) voted in favor of four key articles guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marry.

Tens of thousands of marriage equality supporters gathered outside the Legislative Yuan as lawmakers cast their votes on a bill put forward by the country’s executive office.

Article four of the bill which stipulates that same-sex couples may register their marriage with the Household Administration Office passed at around 1 p.m. 66 out of 93 legislators in attendance voted in favor of the motion, while 27 voted against.

Article two of the bill, which states that “two people of the same gender may establish a permanent, exclusive relationship for the purpose of pursuing a common life,” passed Friday morning with 75 votes in favor and 22 against.

As of 3.30 p.m., all articles of the "Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748" were cleared by the Legislative Yuan.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made slight amendments to its bill Thursday evening, removing references to “same-sex marriage” in order to appease opposing groups fixated on the term.

The bill will be signed into law by President Tsai Ing-wen before the deadline of May 24 set by the Constitutional Court.