The Taiwanese Constitutional Council on Wednesday, May 24th made a historic decision, which paves the way for marriage equality.
The ruling states that the civil code which now rules that marriage can only be between a man and a woman “violates” the constitutional guarantees of freedom of marriage and equality between citizens.
On Wednesday afternoon, opponents and supporters of the legalization of same-sex marriage met in the center of Taipei to await the decision of the Council.
The decision was made public at 4 pm in Taiwan and welcomed by the advocates of marriage. In the front row of the mobilization for years, the long-standing LGBT activist, Chi Chia-wei, who carried the petition before the Constitutional Council. He told AFP shortly before the decision that he was “100% confident” the ruling will be positive. Yet Taiwanese society remains divided on this issue and a majority of citizens are opposed to it.
In a statement issued after the Constitutional Council’s historic decision, the Taiwanese Marriage Equality Coalition said:
“Now in year 2017, since the grand justices- who are seen as the guardian of the Constitution- declare the existing Civil Code unconstitutional and that marriage equality is consistent with the Constitutional value, we believe that legislators should no longer hesitate and idle, but immediately start deliberation on the bill and continue with further legal procedures, turning marriage equality into a reality and granting same-sex couples the legal protection they deserve.”
Prior to the presidential election, President Tsai Ing-Wen openly promised her support for marriage equality on her Facebook page on October 31st, 2015.
According to observers, the decision of the Constitutional Council in Taiwan could have repercussions throughout the region. In South Korea and Japan, associations also demand marriage equality.
(Image holgs via iStock)