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Taiwan approves same-sex marriage in first for Asia

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Taiwan’s legislature voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a first in Asia and a boost for LGBT rights activists who had championed the cause for two decades.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s legislature voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a first in Asia and a boost for LGBT rights activists who had championed the cause for two decades.
Lawmakers pressured by LGBT groups as well as church organizations opposed to the move approved most of a government-sponsored bill that recognizes same-sex marriages and gives couples many of the tax, insurance and child custody benefits available to male-female married couples.
That makes Taiwan the first place in Asia with a comprehensive law both allowing and laying out the terms of same-sex marriage.
«It’s a breakthrough, I have to say so. I could not imagine that could happen in just a few years,» said Shiau Hong-chi, professor of gender studies and communications management at Shih-Hsin University in Taiwan.
«Taiwan’s action today should sound a clarion call, kicking off a larger movement across Asia to ensure equality for LGBT people and pro-active protection of their rights by governments throughout the region,» Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, wrote on Twitter.

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