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Taiwan legislature redefines marriage


Same-sex marriage supporters outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, on Friday Associated Press/Photo by Chiang Ying-ying

Taiwan legislature redefines marriage

Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage on Friday despite voters overwhelmingly asking the government to keep existing marriage laws in place. The law allows same-sex couples to create “exclusive permanent unions” and apply for marriage registration with government agencies. Lawmakers passed the Democratic Progressive Party’s bill, which also extends adoption privileges to same-sex couples, in a 66-27 vote.

Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in 2017 that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry and gave parliament a two-year deadline, which ends May 24, to pass legislation formalizing the changes.

In a referendum voted upon in November 2018, a majority of Taiwanese voted in favor of keeping marriage between one man and one woman. Lai Shyh-bao, a lawmaker with the opposition Kuomintang party, told Agence France-Presse the approved bill “ignores the referendum results, and that is unacceptable.”


Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.

@onize_ohiks

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