Two same-sex couples in military marry in first for Taiwan

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Two lesbian {couples} tied the knot in a mass marriage ceremony held by Taiwan’s army on Friday in a historic celebration with their friends.

Taiwan is the one place in Asia to have legalized same-sex marriage, with greater than 4,000 such {couples} marrying for the reason that laws handed in Might 2019. The mass marriage ceremony with 188 {couples} was the primary time same-sex {couples} have been wed and celebrated at a army ceremony.

Each {couples} considered their ceremonies with a way of accountability in direction of representing the LGBT neighborhood.

“We hope that extra LGBT folks within the army can bravely rise up, as a result of our army may be very open-minded. In issues of affection, everybody might be handled equally,” mentioned Chen Ying-hsuan, 27, a military lieutenant who married Li Li-chen, 26.

Chen wore a rainbow wristband and mentioned she has at all times been open about her sexual orientation whereas serving.

The ceremony at a military base within the northern metropolis of Taoyuan was transient. The {couples} took half in a parade after which exchanged rings in entrance of an viewers of members of the family and their senior officers.

Yumi Meng, 37, and her spouse, military Maj. Wang Yi, 36, wiped again tears as they exchanged rings. Meng wore sneakers underneath her marriage ceremony gown, whereas Wang wore her officer’s uniform. They every carried a delight flag all through the ceremony.

Meng’s dad and mom had not come to the celebration, however in assist each of Wang’s dad and mom in addition to her instructor got here out to assist the couple.

“I actually really feel that this can be a enormous breakthrough for the army as a result of earlier than homosexual folks actually needed to undergo rather a lot,” mentioned Amy Chao, mom to Wang. “Maybe for heterosexual {couples}, it’s only a paper, however it’s essential for homosexual {couples}, for those who’re sick or should have a serious surgical procedure, for those who don’t have this, then you’re nothing, you’ll be able to’t decide.”

Since same-sex marriage turned authorized in Taiwan, 4,021 such {couples} have married, with 69% of them lesbian {couples}, in keeping with the latest authorities information.

The army appeared an unlikely establishment to be the location of a same-sex marriage, however in recent times has opened up, mentioned Victoria Hsu, the Co-founder of Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights. “We hope this can be a good signal to indicate that the armed forces’ angle in direction of the LGBT neighborhood is turning into extra supportive than earlier than in Taiwan.”

That angle was on full show Friday because it welcomed dozens of reporters to the marriage.

“Our angle is that everybody ought to be handled equally, and we congratulate every couple, and this exhibits that our army’s place is open-minded, progressive and with the occasions,” Lt. Gen. Yang An informed reporters on the marriage ceremony.

(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.)

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