Taiwan Gay Marriage
Source: Lowy Institute

A milestone declaration that makes the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.

On 24 May 2017, the Constitutional Court of Taiwan decreed that same-sex couples have the liberty to marry under the Constitution as before same-sex marriage was not legal in Taiwan and that the Legislative Yuan has two years to improve the matrimony laws to follow with the Constitution.

Although the island has a huge homosexual community and its annual gay pride march is the biggest in Asia, the impression of marriage equality has bitterly split Taiwanese society. In a controversial referendum in November last year, 67% voted to reject same-sex marriage.

Tens of thousands of people confronted raining on Friday to manifest in favour of same-sex marriage outside the parliament, as lawmakers began voting on three draft bills, one tabled by the country’s Cabinet which would eventually prove successful and two watered-down rival bills tabled by conservative groups.

The vote that took place on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia – is a significant achievement for the island’s LGBT community and it places the island at the spearhead of Asia’s burgeoning gay rights movement.

Chinese authorizations have in recent months compressed control over LGBT communities online, scrubbed homosexual content from Bohemian Rhapsody, and restricted online content that falls outside of what it calls “correct marriage views and ethics.”

China’s LGBT community will continue looking to Taiwan for the hope that one day they too might be accorded the same rights.