The island nation of Taiwan just took a huge step towards becoming the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. A panel of 14 judges in the country ruled that current laws preventing same sex unions deny LGBTQ people their right to equality, and are therefore unconstitutional. This paves the way for parliament to amend existing laws or pass new ones. It has two years to do so.
In a press release following the ruling, the court said that “disallowing two persons of the same sex to marry, for the sake of safeguarding basic ethical orders” constituted a “different treatment” with “no rational basis.” The court concluded that “such different treatment is incompatible with the spirit and meaning of the right to equality” as protected by Taiwan’s constitution, according to the BBC.
The push for marriage equality gained momentum when President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016. Tsai, who is the first woman elected to the office, is openly supportive of gay marriage. Self-ruled Taiwan, over which China claims sovereignty, is known for its liberal values and holds the biggest annual gay pride event in the region.
Congrats to our brothers and sisters in Taiwan.