The judges of the high court of Taiwan recently decided that laws prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples went against their constitutional rights and freedoms. On May 24th, 2017 Taiwan took its first step in becoming the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Hundreds of people gathered outside of Taiwan’s legislature to await the results of the court. The event was live-streamed on Facebook along with being projected on a video screen. The outcome was met with cheers and also tears of joy and relief. Following the caning of two men in Indonesia due to their homosexuality– this is a large victory. Many homosexuals in the region were afraid to be persecuted and the decision to legalize gay marriage was one they had been longing for.
This decision though, is not a full law on its own. The decision made by the court still needs to go to parliament for Taiwan’s officials to create more laws or change existing ones. It is not certain what the extent that the same-sex marriage law will reach and if it will be equal to the laws regarding same-sex couples.
Although this is nothing less than a milestone, many LGBT+ individuals in Taiwan are afraid that these laws may not give them the full rights that straight couples receive. These include but are not limited to rights to situations involving children like adoption and parenting.
The conservatives of Taiwan believe that this is a decision that affects the country as a whole, and one that should not be made by just a few powerful individuals. There have been many rally’s by religious and anti-gay groups in Taiwan after the President Tsai-Ing Wen who openly supports gay marriage was put into office.
Regardless, this deicision is a step forward for not only Taiwan, but for Asia, towards becoming a safer and more accepting area for LGBT+ indivudals.