Taiwan court to rule in in landmark same-sex marriage case

Elias Hubbard
May 28, 2017

"The judges have today said yes to marriage equality", said Amnesty International's Lisa Tassi, who directs campaigns in East Asia.

According to reports, the court agreed that Taiwan's current Civil Code, which stipulates that marriage must be between a man and a woman, violates constitutional guarantees of freedom of marriage and equality.

The court's ruling was in response to two cases: one request was filed by veteran gay rights activist, Chi Chia-wei, the other by Taipei city officials. "They are normal people wanting to build normal relations and the law should include them".

They fear parliament won't do that and will instead pass a new law that recognises same-sex marriages and gives them only some rights, but not equal treatment in all matters.

Hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters celebrated in Taipei outside the legislature, in a demonstration held by gay rights group Marriage Equality Coalition.

Despite backlash to the movement from conservatives, an estimated 250,000 people took to the streets of capital city Taipei in December previous year to campaign for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

A draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage has already been introduced in Parliament, butopposition from conservatives has slowed the process significantly. If the two-year deadline is not met, same-sex couples could register to marry based on the court's new ruling.

"This explanation is a step forward in the history of Taiwan's same-sex marriage", said Yu Mei-nu, a Taiwanese legislator.

Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province, has a famous annual gay pride parade that showcases the vibrancy of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

While the Civil Code does not stipulate that a marriage is allowed to be between a man and a woman, it is established on the basis of union between a man and a woman, Wu said.

It has been hotly debated for the past year on whether or not the country would legalize gay marriage and there was strong opposition against it. "This will inspire the LGBT movements' push for gay marriage".

Wednesday's landmark decision came as the LGBT community faces increasing persecution in the region.

While same-sex marriage has gained support throughout the globe since the early 2000s, Asian countries have not jumped on board.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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