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

Updated : May 24, 2019 01:28 PM IST

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. Taiwan's parliament passed a bill last week that endorsed same-sex marriage, although the measure could complicate President Tsai Ing-wen's bid for re-election next year. More than 360 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 at a marriage registration office in downtown Taipei, where rainbow flags were on display alongside stacks of government-issued, rainbow-themed registration forms. "I feel very lucky that I can say this out loud to everyone: I am gay and I am getting married," said Shane Lin, a 31-year-old baker who with his partner were the first couple to register in the Taipei office. "I am extremely proud of my country Taiwan," said a tearful Lin. The euphoria and emotion within the island's gay community was on display as newly-wed couples walked down a rainbow-coloured carpet in a nearby park, watched by families and friends as well as diplomats and reporters.

Gay and lesbian newlyweds kiss at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriages in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay and lesbian newlyweds kiss at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriages in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay and lesbian newlyweds pose for group photo at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriages in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay and lesbian newlyweds pose for group photo at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriages in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay newlyweds walk on a giant rainbow flag at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriage in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay newlyweds walk on a giant rainbow flag at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriage in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay newlyweds walk on a giant rainbow flag at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriage in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay newlyweds walk on a giant rainbow flag at a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriage in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay newlyweds Shane Lin (R) and Marc Yuan attend a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriage in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Gay newlyweds Shane Lin (R) and Marc Yuan attend a pro same-sex marriage party after registering their marriage in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A rose is seen on a giant rainbow flag at a pro same-sex marriage party after couples registered their marriages in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A rose is seen on a giant rainbow flag at a pro same-sex marriage party after couples registered their marriages in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A rainbow flag is seen on a desk at the Household Registration Office as same-sex couples register for marriage, in Shinyi District in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A rainbow flag is seen on a desk at the Household Registration Office as same-sex couples register for marriage, in Shinyi District in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
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