(Thanks to Tony at The Progressive Pub @ The Orbit for the news, link, picture, caption, and quotes below the fold.)
Today, Taiwan added their name to the list of countries that voted in favor of broadening the legal definition of marriage. Their highest court has ruled that Taiwan’s Civil Code (which define marriage as between a man and a woman) is unconstitutional:
The Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that current laws, which say that marriage is between a man and a woman, violate the Constitution.
The panel of judges has given the island’s parliament, known as the Legislative Yuan, two years to amend or enact new laws, which could potentially make Taiwan the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage.
The island has a large gay community and its annual gay pride parade is the biggest in Asia but the issue of marriage equality has divided Taiwanese society, with thousands turning out in recent months to protest for and against marriage equality.
Taiwan is now the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Man I adore good news. This is so incredibly awesome, and unexpected…
The first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. I wish it hadn’t taken this long (and it’s still technically not here), but I am thrilled for the country. It is, of course, a ruling that is near and dear to the hearts of LGB folks living in Taiwan, but a ruling such as this goes a little bit beyond that win. Given the role of homophobia and queerphobia in maintaining and reinforcing traditional gender roles, a notable event such as this chips away at the stranglehold of patriarchy.
Oh, and don’t worry. Even if the Taiwan Parliament does not amend or enact new laws within two years, same-sex marriage will still be legal in 2019:
“This explanation is a step forward in the history of Taiwan’s same-sex marriage,” said Yu Mei-nu, a Taiwanese legislator.
Yu said the court’s explanation means that even if lawmakers do not pass legislation allowing same-sex marriage in the next two years, gay couples will still be able to marry by this time in 2019.
I am thrilled that just as we moved one step closer to equality in June of 2015, so too has Taiwan’s LGB population taken an important step forward. I imagine they’re feeling every bit as elated as we were (despite the possibility of a two year wait). Especially 59 year old Chi Chia-wei who, since 1975 (the year I was born), has been a gay rights activist fighting for marriage equality.
This is really incredible, and frankly, it’s nice to have such good news in these times.
YAY TAIWAN! May you be a beacon and an example for the rest of the world.