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LGBT Taiwan, 2019


LGBT rights in Taiwan are regarded as the most progressive in Asia. Both male and female same-sex sexual activities are legal, and same-sex marriage was legalized on 24 May 2019, following a Constitutional Court ruling in May 2017. However, same-sex couples are currently unable to jointly adopt a child but may adopt stepchildren.

The Executive Yuan first proposed the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in 2003; however, the bill received strong opposition at that time and was not voted on. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientationgender identity and gender characteristics in education has been banned nationwide since 2004. With regard to employment, discrimination on the basis sexual orientation has also been prohibited by law since 2007.

On 24 May 2017, the Judicial Yuan ruled that the marriage law was unconstitutional and that same-sex couples should have the right to marry. The court gave the Legislative Yuan a maximum of two years to amend or enact laws so that same-sex marriage is legally recognised.


According to the court ruling, if the Parliament failed to do so by 24 May 2019, same-sex marriage would automatically become legal. 

On 17 May 2019, the Legislative Yuan approved a bill, submitted by the Executive Yuan, recognising marriage for same-sex couples. The bill was signed into law by President Tsai Ing-wen on 22 May and went into effect on 24 May.

Taiwan, therefore, became the first country in Asia to recognise same-sex marriage.

The first Taiwan Pride was held in Taipei in 2003. In 2015, the event was attended by 80,000 participants, making it the second-largest LGBT pride in Asia, behind Tel Aviv Pride in Israel, which has led many to refer to Taiwan as one of the most liberal countries in Asia as well. By 2019, attendance had grown to 170,000 participants.

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