Hundreds of same-sex couples tied the knot today to celebrate the first day of legal gay marriage in Taiwan.
The country made history last week by becoming the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage, and when the new law came into effect today, numerous couples jumped at the chance to, as Beyoncé would say, put a ring on it.
The change came after decades of campaigning for equal rights in Taiwan, which is a self-ruled island.
According to The Guardian, Marc Yuan and Shane Lin were the first to sign their marriage certificate, with legendary Taiwanese LGBTQ rights campaigner, Chi Chia-wei, in attendance.
The couple had been waiting 12 years for the law to change, and there was no time like the present to exercise the right which is long overdue.
Speaking about the legalisation of gay marriage, Lin said:
It has been a remarkable achievement for Taiwan’s same-sex marriage movement, and I feel lucky to have the blessings from my friends and family.
I still remember how I tried to hide the rainbow flag after I attended the first gay pride parade in Taipei over a decade ago. But today, I am able to openly tell the world through these cameras that I’m gay and I’m getting married. I felt really fortunate.
Another set of love-birds, Xue Chen and Antonia Chen, have had their big day planned for a decade, and have been waiting for the law to change ever since.
Chen spoke about tying the knot, and noted how the ceremony was the result of a long fight.
— Rik Glauert (@RikGlauert) May 24, 2019
Even though the entire registration only takes three minutes, I can’t stop thinking about what we went through over the last decade, and how long it has been since Taiwan’s LGBTQ activists first started campaigning for marriage equality.
When I first met Antonia, I knew I would marry her one day, but that was only a wish. Today, my wish has finally come true and today’s registration will allow us to certify our right to love who we love until the end of our lives.
Chia-wei, told The Guardian that while the new law was overdue, it was great to see so many same-sex couples exercising their rights.
However, he made it clear the fight is not over, adding:
The fight is not over as we still need to extend this right to transnational couples who are not able to legally register because one of them may come from a country that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
Congratulations to all the happy couples!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.