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In first for Asia, Taiwan approves same-sex marriage

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Same-sex marriage supporters gather outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, May 17, 2019. Taiwan's Constitutional Court are scheduled to decide Friday on legalizing same-sex marriage, marking a potential first in Asia. The signs read ''Vo   -   Copyright  Chiang Ying-ying

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan's legislature has passed a law allowing same-sex marriage in a first for Asia.

The vote Friday allows same-sex couples full legal marriage rights, including in areas such as taxes, insurance and child custody.

Taiwan's Constitutional Court in May 2017 said the constitution allows same-sex marriages and gave parliament two years to adjust laws accordingly.

Taiwan's acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships began in the 1990s when leaders in today's ruling Democratic Progressive Party championed the cause to help Taiwan stand out in Asia as an open society. Although claimed by China as its own territory, Taiwan is a self-governing democracy with a vibrant civil society.