Taiwan has become the first place in the Asian continent to officially legalize same-sex marriage. Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside Parliament on Friday May 17th, where they cheered and waved rainbow flags, despite strong divisions over marriage equality over the last months.

Taiwans were more than happy to celebrate IDAHOT 2019 with such a significant event in their nation’s history!

Lawmakers from the majority Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) backed up the bill, which passed 66 to 27, though the measure could complicate President Tsai Ing-wen’s bid to win a second term in presidential elections on 2020.

Despite heavy rain, demonstrators outside Parliament in Taipei embraced tearfully, while others hailed the vote with chants of “Asia’s first” and “Way to go, Taiwan”.

The bill, which offers same-sex couples similar legal protections for marriage as heterosexuals, will take effect after Ms Tsai signs it into law:

“Today, we can show the world that #LoveWins,” added Mr Tsai, who campaigned on a promise of marriage equality in the 2016 presidential election.

However, it is yet not clear enough if same-sex couples will be entitled to other specific and relevant rights, such as adoption and cross-national marriage, with Parliament continuing to discuss the measure on Friday.

The vote followed a years-long tussle over marriage equality that culminated in a 2017 declaration by the democratic island’s constitutional court giving same-sex couples the right to marry, and setting a deadline of May 24 for legislation.

Taipei’s colourful gay pride parade, one of Asia’s largest, puts on display every year the vibrancy of the island’s LGBT community.