Voters in Taiwan elected its first female president on Saturday.
Tsai Ing-wen, 59, who leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), won 56 percent of some 13 million votes cast, according to media reports. She is expected to be inaugurated on May 20.
Tsai has been a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage in Taiwan, an issue that has remained stagnant in parliament although a bill passed a first reading in 2013.
In the lead up to her presidential campaign in October, she posted a 15-second video on her Facebook profile to coincide with Taiwan Pride—the largest of its kind in Asia saying: ‘Before love, everyone is equal.’
‘I am Tsai Ing-wen, and I support marriage equality,’ she continued.
‘Let everyone be able to freely love and pursue happiness.’
The US and UK-educated former law professor has refused to respond to queries about her sexual orientation during her last presidential bid in 2012, saying it would make her ‘an accomplice of sexual suppression.’
The two largest cities in Taiwan, Taipei and Kaohsiung, have agreed to allow same-sex partnerships to be registered in one city to be effective in the other beginning on January 1 this year.
More divisive than same-sex marriage is the issue of Taiwan’s independence.
Tsai, who supports Taiwan being independent, has pledged in her victory speech to preserve the status quo in relations with China which claims the island as its own. She warned Beijing that ‘any forms of suppression will harm the stability of cross-strait relations.’