When Taiwan passed a law that allowed same-sex to marry, it was a landmark moment for the LGBT people. Crowds in Taipei became elated and started to chant “First in Asia”.
Those who watched from China, the news was reassuring at one hand and deeply sad on the other hand.
Matthew, an LGBT activist in Chengdu, spent the day after following the proceedings online on his own. Few days later he flew to Taiwan to watch two male friends register their marriage after remaining together for 14 years. While he was happy for his friends, the moment only pointed how far away his own nation was from passing the same kind of law. He stated that obviously there is a sense of disappointment. It is possible to get the law for same-sex marriage passed in China also, simply by following the example of Taiwan. Legalizing same-sex marriage just 100 miles from the mainland has increased the contrast between China and Taiwan, where civil society groups and democratically elected officials pushed through the effort/drive. Beijing demands Taiwan, where a rival government was set up in 1949 and has since then operated totally separately from China, is still part of the mainland. Ah Qiang, a founder of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian and Gays of China feels that if Taiwan can allow same-sex marriage why can’t China. In China, public acceptance of homosexuality and access to pertinent data and services has improved dramatically over the last decade. Restrictions on LGBT content have increased.