“The judges have today said yes to marriage equality. This is a huge step forward for LGBTI rights in Taiwan and will resonate across Asia.” – Lisa Tassi, director of Amnesty International’s campaigns in East Asia.
In an incredible step for Asia, Taiwan has become the first country in the geographical region to legalize same-sex marriage. The court’s ruling gives Taiwan’s government two years to change its marriage laws. If they don’t change by then, same-sex couples will still be allowed to register for marriage and have “the status of a legally recognized couple”.
The Taiwanese court said in a news release that allowing their singles to have the legal choice to decide who to marry “is vital to the sound development of personality and safeguarding of human dignity, and therefore is a fundamental right.”
In response to pushback, the court also said that there is no reason that such a law would affect the rights of people in a heterosexual marriage.
The key plaintiff, Chi Chia-wei, has fought for LGBTQA+ rights in Taiwan since the 1980s, and first began pushing for same-sex marriage licenses over 16 years ago. Taiwan in general has been pushing for same-sex marriage for a long time. Rallies and marches have been organized across the country, and for the first time, the dream of people like Chi Chia-wei has been realized. Hopefully, this ruling will break the ice for other Asian countries, and we’ll see more such rulings in the future.