BREAKING: Taiwanese High Court Rules In Favor Of Marriage Equality, Parliament Has Two Years To Comply

History! The South China Morning Post reports:

Taiwan’s top court, the Council of Grand Justices, ruled in favour of gay marriage on Wednesday, the first landmark ruling in Asia on same-sex unions. The ruling by a panel of 14 grand justices in Taipei said the current law that bars same-sex marriage is a violation of the constitution – making the island the first place in Asia to legalise gay unions. LGBT right groups are holding a rally near the legislature building in support of marriage equality which is expected to continue until 8pm. Opponents are expected to respond to the ruling shortly.

Veteran gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei, 59 [photo], took the case to Taiwan’s top court – which interprets the constitution – two years ago. He asked if the current law violated the constitution after his attempt to register a marriage to another man was rejected by a Taipei household registration office in 2013 and subsequent appeals failed. Taipei city’s Department of Civil affairs later filed a similar request for a constitutional interpretation of the issue after receiving a growing number of same-sex marriage requests since Chi’s case, despite strong opposition from conservative groups.

More from CNN:

The panel of judges has given the island’s parliament, known as the Legislative Yuan, two years to amend or enact new laws, which could potentially make Taiwan the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. We feel that this is a huge success for the LGBT and marriage equality movement in Taiwan,” said Wayne Lin, an activist who runs an LGBT hotline in Taiwan. “We want to amend the Civil Code so same-sex couples can get married… our target is to complete this whole process within this year.”

Draft legislation is already making its way through Taiwan’s parliament but had stalled. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first female president, expressed support for gay marriage before her election in 2016. In the face of love, everyone is equal,” she said in a Facebook video during 2015’s gay pride parade. “I support marriage equality. Every person should be able to look for love freely, and freely seek their own happiness.”

Out of the 14 Grand Justices, it appears that two dissented and one recused, effectively delivering an 11-2 decision.

As you will see below, today’s ruling also appears to write sexual orientation protections into the Taiwanese constitution and it rejects procreation as a relevant factor for entering into a marriage.

Later today I’ll have reactions and analysis from US-based LGBT and civil rights groups. And probably some sadz from the haters, who will surely launch an offensive in the legislature.

  • Winky

    WOW! I didn’t expect that to pass! That is awesome!!!

  • vorpal 😼

    Congratulations to my Taiwanese LGBT siblings!
    很恭喜我的同性戀台灣者兄弟姐妹們!

    Hopefully you will be pioneers, and this will be the nudge that is needed to see LGBT rights and marriage equality start its much needed spread across Asia.

    • zhera

      Why are you up at this hour? What time is it over there???

      (Hello!)

      • vorpal 😼

        It was about 5:00 AM but I had been up all night with Crohn’s crap.
        Argh.

        Hello to you!

        • David Milley

          Aargh! Commiserations. Would a scritch behind the ears help?

        • zhera

          Fuck that shit! (pun intended)

          Hope the furries help make it better. ♥

          • vorpal 😼

            Yesterday evening, the two black boys and the tortie girl came to visit me in my den, one after the other, each for about an hour of cuddles each with lots of purring and inelegant drooling. (Them and not me, I swear!)

            Very therapeutic after the stress of the last few days!

    • Miji

      Yes, hopefully this will be peer pressure on some of their neighbors. Wouldn’t want to fall behind in race to be the most modern, progressive nation in the Asian sphere of influence.

    • Robincho

      Would you go so far as to join me in saying that it’s time to Taiwan ON? I suspect that you would! It’s about fucking time for some good news, no?…

      • northern_neighbour

        Funny or what? Good one, but I have to report to work this morning!

  • Moderate Liberal

    It will be interesting to see if this has any effect on their tensions with the mainland.

    Congrats to all our Taiwanese brothers and sisters!!

  • JoeMyGod

    It’s been awhile since I had to set my alarm for the middle of the night to be ready for an LGBT ruling. And I don’t mind doing it!

    • Moderate Liberal

      Thx Joe! A lil nugget on JMG in the middle of the night is a welcome treat 🙂

    • JoeMyGod

      All those ugly battles in Alaska and Hawaii cost me a lot of sleep.

      • northern_neighbour

        This Canadian as well even though it was the neighbour’s battle at the time, it was so very important to all of us.

        We see advances around the globe at a time when all has been put in jeopardy In the US in terms of keeping society going forward rather than being cruelly shoved back into a closet of 2nd class existence.

        Thanks for all you do Joe!

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      • Ninja0980

        Ugh, Hawaii is one I still would like to forget.

        • vorpal 😼

          I was living there at the time and the demonstrations (the “Let the People Decide” side funded by NOM) were ugly.

          • David Walker

            Yeah, the good old days when NOM had money to throw around. As a fellow named Curley once said, “Nyuk nyuk nyuk.”

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    • zhera

      Remember to take a few breaks now and then! You’ve been quite busy with the Trumptastrofy.

    • Símona Lúcia Azzarà

      You set an alarm I stayed up until 4 am to hear the ruling

    • David Milley

      Many thanks for that! Hearing about real progress somewhere, anywhere, helps steel one for another day of Trumprage.

      And Mr. BillBear posts the best, most exultant music!

  • JoeMyGod

    It’s interesting to see some outlets go through contortions not to call Taiwan a “country.” CNN just refers to Taiwan as “an island” and a “place in Asia”…..

    • JoeMyGod

      The BBC is doing the same….

    • Dramphooey

      They want to please the People’s Republic of China. In olden times this would have outraged the right wing who used to bellyache how the left “lost” China. I’ll bet the right won’t complain today!

    • BobSF_94117

      Taiwan is not recognized as a country by most of the world, including us. Only a tiny handful of countries have diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country.

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    Celebrate marriage equality in Asia! Tip generously for good service!

    Remember, tips are good karma. And karma never lies. Thank you.

  • billbear1961
  • zhera

    Hurrah for Taiwan!

    11-2, that’s pretty amazing.

    • northern_neighbour

      That is pretty darn decisive all right.

      Tony PerKKKins, OTOH, would call it “arrogant unelected judges appropriating the law unto themselves to oppress Christians”

      Bwahahhahahhhh. !! Cry us a River, Tonette!

      Oh and I just noticed the comment of Ed Burrow below! But he didn’t attribute his quote to anyone in particular. But yeah, absolutely!

  • Cackalaquiano

    Great news, congratulations Taiwan!!
    But two years to implement seems like an eternity!

  • IAMBOWLINGGREEN

    Congratulations, Taiwan. A ray of sunshine and hope in some dark times. Love won.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1b99269f8259fef78db2e27d6357bf66b8beef85f9ef28892078d771c839dd4.jpg

  • scream4ever

    Wonderful news, and the two year limit seems binding.

    Hopefully this will result in Nepal finally following through on their court order from 2008.

    • clay

      That’s basically how it happened in New Jersey.

      • David Walker

        And as New Jersey goes, so goes the world…or at least in this case, one hopes.

        Also, was it NJ that had the problem of discovering that civil union was not the same as marriage, that unless “civil union” was included in a contract or other agreement, civil union didn’t mean doo doo? Some state discovered that, anyway, which was lots of people discovered that words matter.

  • billbear1961

    ELEVEN of 14 judges on the High Court recognize EVERY citizen’s absolute RIGHT to the EQUAL protection of the laws in a GENUINE democracy!

    When WE regain control of the federal government–AND RESTORE DEMOCRACY–REVIVE THE REPUBLIC–it may WELL be necessary to expand the size of SCOTUS to counteract the FASCIST contamination of the Court the current COUPISTS are GUILTY of!!

    • Gustav2

      I know you are an older bear, but you are not old enough to be FDR!

      • billbear1961

        We are under no obligation–NONE–to recognize the fruits of SEDITION and TREASON and obstruction of JUSTICE, G!

        On the contrary, it is our moral and civic DUTY, in the name of the Constitution, in the name of the Republic and of JUSTICE, to spurn and REJECT THEM!!

  • Gustav2
    • David Walker

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  • billbear1961
    • northern_neighbour

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      • billbear1961

        That’s VERY kind of you, CB, I mean nn!

        XO

        There are others who post classical music!

        🙂

      • David Walker

        Sorry to interfere, but you were one of those I have missed. So I never stopped reading what you have to say, but I did miss the name change. *whew*

        • northern_neighbour

          Thanks David! Disqus stopped allowing me unregistered access, and designated me as n_n but whatever…

          I always like your thoughtful posts as well. I think you are a fellow Canuck, and none of us are happy at all with what’s befallen our American neighbours.

          As a result though, we are kind of honoured to become a small party to the DAILY RESISTANCE, ( on behalf of the whole planet). … ably led and assisted here by none other than that US expatriate Montreal dweller, … (Cuz CJ for instance!) … namely one Bill Bear who is heartbroken for his country.

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  • TuuxKabin

    Set it in motion Taiwan! And thanks Joe! Good and first news of the day.

  • billbear1961
  • SnowFlake

    Progress! Every step matters!

  • billbear1961
  • pj

    the first step in asia. congrats! hope the rest of asia follows. and soon!

    • clay

      Who else will be in the first wave? Singapore, Nepal, and South Korea? I imagine China, Japan, and India will follow, and then Thailand and Israel (if it can break is theocracy).

      • David Walker

        South Korea? Jeebus lives there, having abandoned the USofA. I think the xns are even more rabid there than here.

        • clay

          Korean Presbyterians are very conservative, but are also very family-minded– look what’s happened in Latin America with legal family recognition. The economic transition is now two-generations old in South Korea, so people are getting used to the new reality of very few children, more single adults, high cost of living, etc. Why not combine the two to recognize all (small, childless) families?

          • David Walker

            OK. It’s just that my mind goes to the massive assaults during the last LGBTQ pride parade.

      • scream4ever

        Nepal shouldn’t be too far behind. They had a previous court order which didn’t carry the weight of this one, and a recent effort to add SSM to the Constitution scudduled, but this should breathe new life into things.

      • Danieruw

        Singapore has banned foreigners from Pride there so I wouldn’t think they’d be anytime soon.

  • SoCalGal20

    Congrats, Taiwan!!!!

  • Unelected judges, defying the will of the people, procreation, we don’t know how this social experiment is going to end up, it’ll be the end of family values, god will be furious….
    What else did I miss?

    • Something about kids having a mom and a dad. XD

  • Dejerrity Mycron

    Now we have to see how the Chinese respond. They may not be too happy about this.

  • DavidAZ
  • DavidAZ
  • Hank
  • Ninja0980

    Congrats to Taiwan!

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Oh look, another domino falls….YES!!!

    • Tempus Fuggit

      Rises.

  • Ben in Oakland

    I think the most important line in the decision was the statement that allowing gay people to marry will have no effect on opposite sex marriage.

  • Lars Littlefield

    This is great news. Too bad most of Taiwan is a total hell hole of overpopulation and polluted cities. Food’s good. People are nice. That’s about it.

  • scream4ever

    And with this, every continent has at least one nation/territory where SSM (Antarctica has the British Territory and I’m counting New Zealand as part of Australia/Oceania.

  • James

    Two YEARS? FFS why?

  • jonfromcalifornia

    So proud of Taiwan. Light years away progressively from South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore or even Japan.

  • glass
  • JCF