Court says ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional; unless law is amended within two years, marriage equality becomes legal

Taiwan is set to be the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

A top court in the country today ruled that the current law, banning same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.

taiwanMarriage equality can become law in two years

The Council of Grand Justices in Taipei decreed that if a law amendment to change the constitution is not introduced with two years, the interpretation of the current law should include same-sex couples.

‘If relevant laws are not amended or enacted within the said two years, two persons of the same sex who intend to create the said permanent union shall be allowed to have their marriage registration effectuated at the authorities in charge of household registration, by submitting a written document signed by two or more witnesses in accordance with the said Marriage Chapter,’ said the court in a press release.

The ruling came about after a local activist, Chi Chia-wei, challenged Taipei city government’s rejection of his and his long-time partner’s application to marry in 2013. The two were refused a marriage certificate at a local Taipei registration office.

LGBT activists are currently holding a celebratory rally near the legislature building. Watch the moment below when they heard the news.

Among those to welcome the news are LGBTI campaigners further afield. Rodney Croome, spokesperson for Australia marriage equality group just.equal said in a statement, ‘This decision is bitter sweet because it means that Taiwan will have the benefits of marriage equality but that Australia is falling further and further behind.

‘Australian legislators who refuse to allow marriage equality to pass by having a free vote in parliament are bringing ever more shame on our nation.

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