Same-sex marriage in Taiwan

A Buddhist cleric’s decision to wed two women in Taiwan is the latest sign that obstacles to same-sex unions are quietly coming down in Asia, with religion posing less of a hindrance than in the West.

Fish Huang and her partner You Ya-ting, both 30, received their blessings from Shih Chao-hui, a female Buddhist master, at a monastery in north Taiwan’s Taoyuan county over the weekend, and no one seemed to raise an eyebrow.

“I think this is their human right. They can choose freely to get married and we should respect them,” said Chih Chun, a Buddhist nun who attended the ceremony.

“It makes no difference if couples are heterosexual or homosexual, as long as they are in love and they are happy.”

The wedding — a first for Taiwanese Buddhism — comes as evidence is mounting that Asians and their governments are quietly revising their views on same-sex marriage even as the subject remains a highly charged issue in the United States this election year.

Communist Vietnam is considering making the practice legal and in Nepal hundreds marched in support of enshrining it in the new constitution. Tokyo Disneyland has allowed gay couples to informally tie the knot on its grounds.

Myanmar and Laos also recently held their first gay pride events.


UPDATE: 27 SEPT 2012

 HK tycoon offers fortune to marry off gay daughter

 HONG KONG: A Hong Kong tycoon has offered a US$65 million "marriage bounty" to any man who can win the heart of his lesbian daughter, a report said on Wednesday. Cecil Chao announced the financial reward of HK$500 million after his daughter, Gigi, married her same-sex partner of seven years in France earlier this year, the South China Morning Post reported. "I don't mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind hearted," 76-year-old Chao was quoted as saying. "Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work," he added. He also rejected "false reports" that Gigi, 33, had married abroad, saying she was still single. Chao, who owns publicly-listed property developer Cheuk Nang, could not be reached for comment. Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Hong Kong, where homosexuality was decriminalised in 1991. Miss Chao graduated from university in 1999 with a degree in architecture. She went on to work for two years with prominent British architect Sir Terry Farrell.

Gigi Chao (right) is believed to have married her girlfriend of seven years Sean Eav (left) in France, yet her businessman father has offered £40million to the man that can woo his daughter



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