Taiwan Becomes the First Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

PHOTO: npr.com

“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.

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