Taiwanese Army Mass Military Wedding To Feature First Same-Sex Couples | Taiwan

Two same-sex couples are due to marry in the Taiwanese military’s annual mass wedding ceremony this week, a first after the island’s government legalized marriage equality 18 months ago.

The female soldiers and their civilian partners – Chen Ying-xuan and Lee Ying-ying, and Wang Yi and Meng Youmei – will get married on Friday.

Taiwan, an autonomous democracy, has become one of the most progressive communities in Asia since its transition from authoritarian rule in the late 1980s. It became the first place in the region to legalize same-sex marriage in May. 2019.

The military said, “Our country… became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage and the ministry gives its blessing to gay servicemen who marry.

He posted dozens of wedding photos of couples taking part in Friday’s formalities and asked people to vote for their favorite. Wang and Meng’s photo has been liked over 31,000 times on Facebook alone.

Wang Yi and Meng Youmei. Photograph: Army of the Republic of China

“Not only did you make your presence felt, but you also made ‘our’ voice heard. So, so proud of you! wrote a commentator. Another wrote: “You defend our country, we defend your freedom. “

A Taipei city councilor said, “Love makes Taiwan stronger, bless every lover and encourage the continuous improvement of the national army.

A spokesperson for a social media group advocating LGBT awareness in the military told the Guardian it was happy to see a traditionally conservative institution accepting and “giving blessings” to same-sex marriage.

“This is not only a great encouragement for the LGBT community but also for the military,” they said. “It is proof that LGBT people can have equal rights and, like everyone else, are able to defend the country.”

Three same-sex couples were scheduled to attend last year’s ceremony, but withdrew.

Thousands of couples have registered their marriages since the 2019 law came into effect. Although the law has been widely celebrated, it does not grant full equality. Taiwanese seeking to marry foreigners of the same sex can only do so if their partner’s home country also legally recognizes marriage equality.

Adoption and assisted reproduction rights are also more restrictive than for heterosexual couples, as same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt children who are biologically related to one of them.

The ceremony takes place the day before Taiwan Pride, the annual LGBTQI parade in Taipei.

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