Taiwan becomes first place in Asia to approve same-sex marriage

Supporters of same-sex marriage gather outside as parliamentarians debated in Taipei, Taiwan, on Friday.

Lawmakers in Taiwan on Friday approved a bill making the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.

The vote came after Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in May 2017 that a law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

The judges called for changing the law within two years. Taiwan has a large gay community but the subject of same-sex marriage remains controversial. In a November referendum, 67 percent of voters rejected same-sex marriage.

Conservative groups in recent months campaigned for a law that would have drawn a line between heterosexual and “same-sex unions.”

The successful bill had the backing of LGBTQ groups.

It includes limited adoption rights — the child must be related to one of the spouses.

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