Gay and lesbian couples can begin marrying Friday in Taiwan, roughly a week after lawmakers approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.

Taiwan is the first nation in Asia with marriage equality.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest LGBT rights advocate, congratulated marriage advocates in Taiwan.

“We congratulate the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan and all the advocates who worked tirelessly to bring same-sex marriage to Taiwan,” Jean Freedberg, HRC director of global partnerships, said in a statement. "At a time when LGBTQ people’s lives are threatened around the globe just because of who they are or who they love, this victory is a major milestone for LGBTQ equality in Asia and sends a strong message to other countries in the region, and around the world.”

Roughly two years ago, Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and gave parliament two years to amend existing marriage laws or enact new ones.

While lawmakers approved a bill that includes the word “marriage,” it does not extend adoption rights to same-sex couples.