Taiwanese same-sex marriage bill passes first reading

Taiwan took one step further towards becoming the first Asian country to grant marriage equality today (November 9) as two amendments that would offer same-sex couples the right to get married and adopt passed its first reading, Gay Star News reports. Last month, the death of a gay professor in Taiwan sparked an LGBT rights push that many hoped would see the country legalise same-sex marriage by the end of next year, the Guardian reports. Jacques Picoux, originally from France, died on October 16 after falling from his tenth floor apartment block. His friends believe he had killed himself, following a bout of depression triggered by the death of his partner of 35 years, Taiwanese Tseng Ching-chao. Because of the lack of legal rights for same-sex partners in Taiwan, Jacques was excluded from making decisions about his partner’s healthcare during the final days of his life, and had no legal claim over the property they shared together. The amended bill now needs to be debated in the Legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, before passing a second and third reading, at which point, it will become law. More stories: What will a Trump presidency mean for LGBT people? Lady Gaga isn’t taking Donald Trump’s election victory lying down