Taiwanese high court rules marriage equality a fundamental human right, forcing government to change laws

Taiwan is on the way to become the first country in Asia to legalise gay marriage. In a press release following the ruling on Wednesday, the high court decided the current climate was in “violation of both the people’s freedom of marriage” and “the people’s right to equality.”

Photo credit: Reuters

In a landmark court ruling, Taiwan has its biggest chance yet to become the first Asian country to legalise same sex marriages.

The press release also stated equal freedom “to decide ‘whether to marry’ and ‘whom to marry'” is a fundamental human right because it is “vital to the sound development of personality and safeguarding of human dignity.”

It also recognised the historical vilification of homosexual people in Taiwan.

“In our country, homosexuals were once denied by social tradition and custom in the past. As a result, they have long been locked in the closet and suffered various forms of de facto or de jure exclusion or discrimination”

The court ruled parliament must either amend current laws or enact new ones within the next two years. Thus, while the push for marriage equality seems stronger and more attainable than ever, there is a chance new laws could arise which might recognise a permanent union but will not provide equal treatment, such as the right to adopt.

“The provisions of Chapter 2 on Marriage of Part IV on Family of the Civil Code do not allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the committed purpose of managing a life together. The said provisions, to the extent of such failure, are in violation of both the people’s freedom of marriage as protected by Article 22 and the people’s right to equality as guaranteed by Article 7 of the Constitution.”

Read the rest of the statement here.

This week, Australia’s largest and most influential association of medical practitioners has publicly called out the Australian Parliament on their marriage equality policies.

While the country is undeniably slow to act on marriage equality, Australians are fleeing to New Zealand to have a legal ceremony, so much so they’ve injected half a billion dollars into it’s economy.