Taiwan awaits landmark ruling over gay marriage

  • AseanPlus News
  • Tuesday, 23 May 2017

TAIPEI: A court ruling in Taiwan this week could make the island the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage, in a decision that would give activists around the region new hope in their quest for equality.

A panel of grand justices will announce its verdict tomorrow in a landmark case that centres on whether Taiwan’s current law on the issue is unconstitutional.

Campaigners are nervous but optimistic after years of court appeals and lack of progress in parliament.

For one man, the battle has lasted decades.

“I feel 100% confident about a positive outcome,” said Chi Chia-wei, 59, one of two parties petitioning the constitutional court.”I am optimistic but I wouldn’t be overly excited. This should have happened long ago,” said the activist who made his first submission for recognition of gay marriage in 1986.

At the centre of the case is a clause in Taiwan’s Civil Code which says an agreement to marry should be made between a man and a woman.

Chi wants the court to rule on whether that contravenes elements in Taiwan’s constitution which guarantee equality and freedom of marriage.

The decision is binding, so a ruling in his favour would pave the way for same-sex unions to be legalised.

The other party bringing the case is the Taipei city government, which has been rejecting marriage applications by same-sex couples and is seeking clarification of the law. — AFP

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