Photos Of Taiwan's First Same-Sex Weddings Show How Hundreds Of Couples Celebrated

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Last week, Taiwan's parliament became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, and on Friday, hundreds of couples tied the knot to mark the historic occasion. Taiwan's decision to pass legislation in favor of marriage equality came after years of debate, and photos of Taiwan's first same-sex weddings made it clear that it was a landmark moment for LGBTQ rights.

The issue of marriage equality in Taiwan — which activists like Chi Chia-Wei have supported for decades — started gaining even more traction in 2017, when the country's constitutional court ruled that the civil code defining marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional. The court stated that the civil code discriminated against same-sex couples, The New York Times reported, and subsequently gave Taiwan's legislature two years to pass legislation addressing this discrimination.

After months of stalling and debate, Taiwan's parliament finally passed legislation to authorize same-sex marriage on May 18 — just one week before the two-year deadline. The bill ultimately adopted by the legislature was the most progressive of the three bills that Taiwanese lawmakers were debating, per the BBC, and it also includes limited adoption rights.

On Friday, hundreds of couples were finally able to tie the knot after years of campaigning for LGBTQ rights came to fruition. The following photos are just a small sample of the weddings that unfolded across the island to celebrate the historic occasion.

"Brave And Happy"

According to journalist William Yang, many of Friday's marriage registrations in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei were officiated by Chi, an LGBTQ rights activist who has been campaigning for marriage equality since the 1980s.

New ID Cards

With same-sex marriage finally being legalized in Taiwan, hundreds of couples lined up to register on Friday before getting married.

"Happiest Story I've Ever Covered"

According to reporters like The New York Times' Chris Horton, many couples showed off their ID cards to the media following registration.

Solidarity

Not all same-sex couples can get married in Taiwan, however; according to Quartz, if one person in a same-sex couple is from a different country, the couple can only get married in Taiwan if the foreign country also permits same-sex marriage. That's why some couples — like Kris and Alex — were unable to get married on Friday, but still showed up to support other couples who could.

"First Same-Sex Marriage Certificate In Asia"

According to CNN, Chi signed the first same-sex marriage certificate on Friday with the same pen that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen used to sign the marriage equality bill into law last week.

Celebrations Begin

Many couples came together to celebrate their marriages in Taipei; there was even a bear mascot wearing a veil at the celebrations.

"More Than Just A Slogan"

Tsai has advocated for marriage equality ever since she was a presidential candidate back in 2015, The New York Times reported, but the issue did not resurface as a policy priority until 2017's constitutional court ruling.

Chi told CNN that Taiwan's decision to legalize same-sex marriage made him optimistic about the future of LGBTQ rights in the country, and he urged same-sex marriage activists across Asia to maintain their "faith, hope, and love."