A vocal supporter of same-sex marriage has been elected as Taiwan’s new President.
The country, known variously as Taiwan, the Republic of China and Chinese Taipei, made a bold step today by electing Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party as President.
As well as being the country’s first female President, Ms Tsai is an outspoken independence campaigner who has called for the country to gain more autonomy from China.
She is also a strong advocate for LGBT rights and same-sex marriage – despite no other Asian country passing equal marriage laws to date.
In a video released on Chinese Valentine’s Day last year, she featured three same-sex couples alongside straight ones.
She has also pledged her support for the country’s Pride parade, lighting up her party HQ in the colours of the rainbow flag.
According to the New York Times, she said in a Facebook video: “When it comes to love, everyone is equal.
“I am Tsai Ing-wen, and I support marriage equality. Every person should be able to look for love freely, and freely seek their own happiness.”
As well as Ms Tsai’s election, the DPP is on course to secure more than 60 of the 113 seats in Taiwan’s Parliament – potentially giving them a rare majority to pass equality laws.
The election is hugely promising for LGBT rights activists in the country – though the key test of her leadership will be maintaining a healthy relationship with China.
Homosexuality remains taboo in mainland China, and so same-sex marriage in Taiwan would send a powerful if potentially provocative message.