Tears flowed and bouquets flew on Friday as hundreds of same-sex couples exchanged vows in Taipei’s Shinyi District.
Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage when its legislature voted to approve the measure last week. Thousands gathered in the streets to celebrate the landmark moment for LGBT rights in Asia, where gay people can face stigma for varying reasons from religion to conservative values.
The new laws went into effect Friday, and hundreds of history-making Taiwanese couples planned to get married en masse. Here is a look at some of the first same-sex couples to wed in Asia.
Shane Lin and Marc Yuan became one of Taiwan’s first gay couples to tie the knot.
Taiwan’s first gay couple Shane Lin (L) and Marc Yuan kiss outside the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019. Sam Yeh—AFP/Getty Images
It was an emotional moment for the couple, who shed a few tears during the ceremony.
Shane Lin (C) is comforted by his partner Marc Yuan (R) and a friend during a wedding ceremony in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019. Sam Yeh—AFP/Getty Images
Other couples waited their turn for their turn to wed.
Gay couple Cynical Chick (L) and Li Ying-Chien wait for wedding register at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei on May 24, 2019. Sam Yeh—AFP/Getty Images
One couple showed off their marriage registration picture, an AFP reporter shared on Twitter.
A Taiwan lesbian couple showed their new ID card to media after registered their marriage
Other couples posed for photos, as a DW reporter posted on Twitter.
Moving scenes that would just make you tear up so easily. 20 couples, all brave and happy. Many have been together for more than a decade. One told me “I used to hide the rainbow flag after pride parade, but now I gotta find a place to show it with pride.”
Finishing off this happy day, I just want to say how fortunate I am to be able to document this historic moment for #Taiwan, all the couples who got married today and myself. Knowing that from this day forward, I’ll have equal rights to love and marry is a real comfort.