Taiwan Just Made LGBTQ History
It’s the first Asian country to rule in favor of same-sex couples
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Taiwan’s highest court delivered a history-making ruling on Wednesday, opening up the country’s laws to allow same-sex marriages. Judges deemed current laws preventing same-sex unions from happening as unconstitutional and allotted Taiwanese parliament two years to correct existing legislation or come up with entirely new laws, BBC reports.
As the first Asian country to rule in favor of same-sex couples, this is a huge win for the global LGBTQ community. According to a press release distributed after the ruling, the court made it clear that “homosexuality is not a disease,” and members of the LGBTQ community deserve the same freedoms as anyone else. As stated in the press release,
“Unspoused persons eligible to marry shall have their freedom to marry, which includes the freedom to decide ‘whether to marry’ and ‘whom to marry’ … Such decisional autonomy is vital to the sound development of personality and safeguarding of human dignity, and therefore is a fundamental right to be protected by Article 22 of the Constitution.”
According to BBC analyst Cindy Sui, Taiwan’s LGBTQ community hopes same-sex couples will simply be tacked on to the current legislation, providing them all the same rights currently available to opposite-sex partners seeking marriage licenses. Similarly to the United States, those freedoms range from gaining access to family during medical emergencies to the right to adopt children. The worst-case scenario involves legislators writing entirely new laws to give same-sex couples legal recognition without all the same rights—much like civil partnerships. Taiwan’s LGBTQ community expects religious groups to advocate for this latter scenario.
You can also expect the LGBTQ community to fight back against religious detractors to ensure every Taiwanese citizen gets equal treatment regardless of whom they decide to marry.