Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty)
More than 3,500 same-sex couples have tied the knot in Taiwan since marriage equality was legalised almost a year ago.
Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage on May 17, 2019, which also happened to be International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Legislators voted for a government-backed bill that would define a union between a same-sex couple as a marriage.
Conservative opponents had proposed rival bills that would define the partnerships as “same-sex unions” or “same-sex familial relationships”, but Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party pushed through the law.
The president, who had made same-sex marriage part of her campaign before she was elected in 2016, wrote on Twitter just before the vote: “Good morning Taiwan. Today, we have a chance to make history and show the world that progressive values can take root in an East Asian society.
“Today, we can show the world that love wins.”
A total of 526 same-sex couples registered to marry on May 24, the first day that the law came into effect following a three-decade fight for equal marriage.
According to Focus Taiwan, data released by the country’s Ministry of the Interior (MOI) on Friday, May 1, showed that as of the end of March a total of 3,553 same-sex couples had registered their marriages.
Out of the country’s six largest cities, New Taipei City recorded the greatest number with 722 same-sex marriages.
Of the registered marriages, 1,122 were male couples and 2,431 were female couples.
However, the MOI said that there have also been 188 divorces of same-sex couples; 114 female couples and 74 male couples.
One gay couple who wed on the the first day that the law came into effect divorced three weeks later, after an incredibly short honeymoon period.
The first gay male couple to marry, Shane Lin and Marc Luan, are still happily married.