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

Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, handing a victory to gay rights advocates in the nation who have long fought for marriage equality.

According to CNN, the country passed the law on early Friday. It is reportedly scheduled to take effect later next week.


Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen celebrated the law’s passage in a tweet shortly after.

“Good morning #Taiwan. Today, we have a chance to make history & show the world that progressive values can take root in an East Asian society,” she said in the tweet. 

“Today, we can show the world that #LoveWins,” she continued.

The law’s passage on Friday comes roughly two years after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled a law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman to be unconstitutional, according to the news agency. At the time, lawmakers in the country were given a two-year deadline by the court to lay down new legislation. 

The legislature’s decision to pass the law on Friday reportedly arrived just a week short of that deadline.

The move comes shortly after Brunei, a small Asian country just across the South China Sea from Taiwan, enacted laws making homosexual sex and adultery punishable by death by stoning.