In Historic Move, Top Court In Taiwan Rules For Same-Sex Marriage

It will be the first Asian nation to legalize gay marriage.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s top court has ruled in favor of same-sex unions- soon to make it the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

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On Wednesday, Taiwan’s highest court has ruled that denying same sex couples the right to get married was unconstitutional. The court is reportedly giving parliament a two-year deadline to either pass new laws or amend existing ones in order to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Decision

“Disallowing two persons of the same sex to marry, for the sake of safeguarding basic ethical orders constituted a different treatment with no rational basis,” said the court in a statement. “Such a difference is incompatible with the spirit and meaning of the right to equality.”

The court also said that should parliament fail to meet the two-year deadline, same-sex couples could still register to marry.

Despite its previous lack of legal recognition of LGBT rights, Taiwan is known to have liberal views, and hosts the largest annual gay parade in Asia. Hopes for marriage equality started building up since current President Tsai Ing-wen, known to be supportive of LGBT rights, was elected.

Taiwan had already been working on a bill to allow same-sex marriage, however it was severely slowed down due to a strong traditionalist opposition who do not want it to happen. This topic has been receiving a huge amount of backlash from conservatives. Over the past few months, many have taken to the streets to protest against the movement.

Concerns Throughout the LGBT Community

The LGBT community is naturally hoping that the laws are changed in order to allow couples of the same sex to get married, but they are also hoping that the laws are also extended to rights for parental leaves, adoption, inheritance and making decisions for one another in the case of medical emergencies.

They still fear that although parliament will recognize their marriages, they may do little to make them fully equal to heterosexual couples in all matters.