Taiwan Becomes First Asian Country to Approve Same-Sex Marriage

Nick Mcbride
May 25, 2017

That said, Chi Chai-wei eventually prevailed as the legalization has now been approved and Taiwan's parliament, the Legislative Yuan, will now either create new laws allowing same-sex marriage or amend the civil code to allow same-sex couples to marry.

It says authorities must either enact or amend relevant laws within two years, failing which same-sex couples could have their marriages recognized by submitting a document.

Taiwan has always been one of the more progressive spots in Asia: it has held a gay pride parade since 2003, and has a thriving LGBT community.

The LGBT community and its supporters across Asia and the world are celebrating today after a landmark ruling in Taiwan that paves the way for same-sex marriage.

The current Taiwan's civil code defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

However, President Tsai Ing-wen has been openly supportive of gay marriage for decades.

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists had harboured high hopes their years of campaigning for same-sex marriage would win the court's backing. It's not clear whether Taiwan's parliament will legalize same-sex marriage altogether or introduce new legislation for a separate civil union.

Two of the 15 grand justices on the Constitutional Court that ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage on Wednesday expressed dissenting opinions on the decision. "The said provision to the extent of such failure are in violation f both people's freedom of marriage as protected by Article 22 and people's right to equality as guaranteed by article 7 of the Constitution".

The decision comes at a time of increased persecution of Asia's LGBTQ community, as in an area of Indonesia where gay menwere caned in front of a crowd on Tuesday. Those bills have stalled in recent months, after protests against gay marriage swelled. "The opposition toward gay marriage in Taiwan won't just gladly accept it and give up the debate, so the debate will continue".

In a survey of almost 1,100 respondents last November by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, a non-governmental and non-profit institute, 46.3 percent said they supported same-sex marriage legalization, while 45.4 percent expressed opposition.

What do you think of Taiwan's decision?

Religious and parents groups opposed to gay marriage said they will lobby Parliament not to pass any laws on legalisation, according to the report.

Other reports by VgToday

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