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Taiwan celebrates Asia's first same-sex marriages as couples tie knot

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 24, 2019 - Duration: 01:04s

Taiwan celebrates Asia's first same-sex marriages as couples tie knot

Same-sex couples tied the knot in emotional scenes in Taiwan on Friday, the first legal marriages in Asia hailed by activists as a social revolution for the region.

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Taiwan celebrates Asia's first same-sex marriages as couples tie knot

(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Same-sex couples tied the knot in emotional scenes in Taiwan on Friday (May 24), the first legal marriages in Asia hailed by activists as a social revolution for the region.

More than 160 same-sex couples married on Friday, according to government data, after years of heated debate over marriage equality that has divided the self-ruled and democratic island.

Twenty couples queued to tie the knot at a marriage registration office in downtown Taipei, where rainbow flags were on display alongside stacks of government-issued, rainbow-themed registration forms. Friday's celebration followed a years-long tussle over marriage equality that culminated in the 2017 declaration by the constitutional court giving same-sex couples the right to marry, and setting a deadline of May 24 for legislation.

Same-sex marriage is not recognised by Hong Kong and neighbouring China, which regards Taiwan as a wayward province to be returned to the fold by force, if necessary.

It marks another milestone in Taiwan's development as one of the region's more liberal societies, in contrast with China's strongly autocratic government.

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