With Asia being the last continent where no country recognizes same-sex marriage, the pressure has been on to see which country will be the one to take the first step towards equality.
Recently the Taiwanese government has delivered great news and even the hope of marriage equality becoming a reality in Taiwan. The Government is currently working on 3 different bills, one of them even supporting marriage equality.
This progression on marriage equality can be partly attributed to the country’s new head of state, Tsai Ing-wen.
Ing-wen, the country’s first female head of state is one of the country’s many supporters of marriage equality, even sharing on Facebook:
Love should allow people to feel free, to feel equal and to feel strong.”
But this move towards marriage equality transcends Ing-Wen, with 80% of Taiwanese between 20 and 29 fully supporting marriage equality (you can check out a study conducted by a Taiwanese University right here).
But exactly why is Taiwan so progressive, compared to other Asian countries? Oddly enough, this could be connected with religion. While most of us are used to seeing religion being used as an argument against marriage equality, the majority of Taiwanese are Buddhists or follow traditional Chinese religions which do not oppose to marriage between two men or two women.
We should get more news on the Government’s decision in the upcoming months but we are hopeful Taiwan will grant its LGBTQ citizens the right and freedom to marry whomever they choose. We can even hope this strong position will pressure other Asian countries to take positive action on this issue.
According to Pride.com, ‘As of May 2016, 23 countries in Asia had placed a ban on same-sex sexual acts, and even more severe, 5 of those countries have anti-LGBT legislation set in place that could lead to the death penalty’.
Change is clearly not just needed but rather necessary.
Good luck Taiwan, stand on the right side of History as a progressive country that provides equal rights to all.