Taiwan

A 2017 court ruling means same-sex marriages will automatically become legal on 24 May

At least 157 couples in Taiwan plan to wed on the first day same-sex marriage will be legal in Taiwan next month, according to a local rights organization.

Same-sex marriage will automatically become legal in Taiwan on 24 May according to a Constitutional Court ruling in 2017.

But, parliament plans to pass a bill to legislate the ruling ahead of the deadline.

The government said last week it would be ready to register same-sex marriages whether the bill had passed or not.

According to a government statement in December last year, almost 4,000 same-sex couples had registered to marry.

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) has also organized a massive wedding banquet outside the Presidential Office on 25 May.

Equal Marriage Taiwan, meanwhile, has begun collecting well wishes for same-sex newlyweds from the public, celebrities, and lawmakers.

‘We are looking forward to seeing the first same-sex marriage in Asia, and show to the world that Taiwan has our proudly own democratic constitution and diversity values in Asia’ said Equal Marriage Taiwan’s Benson Lee.

Taiwan’s long road to same-sex marriage

Taiwan is set to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex unions by May 24.

In February, the government drafted a same-sex marriage bill and passed it to parliament.

But as the details emerged, the government, lawmakers, and activists admitted it fell short of true marriage equality.

The compromise bill comes after a devastating referendum loss in November 2018. Taiwan voters opted for a separate law to legalize same-sex unions rather than to change the Civil Code.

In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. It gave a two-year deadline to legislate.

But, following the referendum, conservative groups have been lobbying lawmakers to enact a ‘cohabitation’ or ‘partnership’ law to afford same-sex couples similar rights as marriage.

Taiwan’s opposition party also introduced a same-sex union bill to parliament. LGBTI rights groups and families denounced it as ‘homophobic’.

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