Last week, Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legally recognize same-sex marriage. And on Saturday, over a thousand people celebrated that landmark ruling with a massive wedding banquet.
According to NPR, the celebration included a big group wedding, with about 20 couples tying the knot in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city. In addition to the couples, there were about 1,600 supporters and other guests in attendance, all of whom watched the newlyweds walk down a red carpet. There were rainbow flags, lots of food, and festivities galore.
Per the Associated Press:
“Never did we give up hope that we would one day get married,” said Janet Hsu, a 38-year-old civil servant who married her partner.
They and other pairs were honored in a gala that featured an emcee who wished them “100 years of happiness.” A drag queen also performed with a group of scantily clad men.
The banquet seated 160 tables and served nine courses of traditional Taiwanese food, according to the Central News Agency.
In 2017, Taiwan took its first step toward legalizing same-sex marriage when a panel of judges ruled that laws banning same-sex unions violated the country’s constitution. Though it was unclear whether that ruling would actually lead to marriage equality, on May 17, Taiwan’s legislature ruled in favor of permitting same-sex couples to apply for “marriage registration” to be part of “exclusive permanent unions,” according to the Washington Post. The ruling was 66 to 27, according to NPR.
Same-sex marriage is still illegal elsewhere in Asia, and in some nations, gay sex is illegal as well. Still, it looks like Taiwan’s ruling might help bolster the fight for marriage equality across the continent. Per the Washington Post, LGBTQ advocates in Hong Kong are attempting to use Taiwan’s example to get local judges to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.