Taiwan’s marriage law brings frustration and hope for LGBT China

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07/05/2019

It was a landmark moment for LGBT rights. When Taiwan passed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, crowds in Taipei erupted into cheers, chanting: “First in Asia”. For those watching from across the Taiwan strait in China, where gay couples do not have that right, the moment was heartening but also profoundly sad. Matthew, 27, an LGBT activist in Chengdu, spent the day following the proceedings online on his own. A few days later he flew to Taiwan to watch two male friends register their marriage after 14 years together. While he was happy for his friends, the moment only highlighted how far away his own country was from doing the same. “Definitely there is a sense of disappointment,” he said. “If we want to make what happened in Taiwan happen in China in the same way, it’s impossible.”

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