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.