Taiwan court rules in favour of gay marriage
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s top court ruled in favour of gay marriage yesterday, a landmark decision that paves the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex unions.
Crowds of supporters cheered, hugged and wept as the court said that current laws preventing the practice “violated” the constitution’s guarantees of freedom of marriage and equality.
It gave the government two years to implement the ruling.
Momentum had been growing behind the push for equal marriage rights, with President Tsai Ing-wen openly supporting the campaign. But there had also been anger among conservative groups, who staged mass rallies against any change in the law.
The constitutional court said that if Parliament did not make the change within two years, same-sex couples could register to marry regardless, based on its interpretation.
Hundreds of gay marriage supporters who gathered outside Parliament here erupted at the news, with some breaking down in tears.
Activists addressing the crowd said they must now fight to ensure the government implemented the ruling.
Outside Taipei’s main judicial headquarters, angry anti-gay marriage protesters beat drums shouting “unfair justice” and “sinners“, calling for the head of the judiciary to step down.
A panel of 14 grand justices made the ruling — a majority of 10 was needed. Only two judges dissented. AF