Taiwan awaits marriage equality decision

A court decision that would bring marriage equality to Taiwan is expected to be handed down today.

If Taiwan allows same sex couples the right to marry, it will be the first country in Asia to ahieve marriage equality.

The case before the courts has been brought by gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei who has been advocating for the rights of the LGBTI communities for over 30 years.

“It’s been so long, my hair has gone grey!” the 59-year-old advocate told reporters ahead of the decision being handed down.

An instantly recognisable figure in Taiwanese politics, Chi often appears in public draped in rainbow flags.

Campaigners on both sides of the debate are expected to gather in central Taipei this afternoon to hear the results of the landmark court case. The court’s decision will be binding, and if successful will pave the way for marriage equality legislation.

A panel of 14 judges have been accessing whether Taiwan’s laws which limit marriage to being between a man and a woman are unconstitutional. Ten of the 14 judges need to agree for the decision to pass.

Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen, who came to power last year has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality. She has been criticised by religious and family groups who have argued that allowing same sex couples to marry would destroy families.

The decision is expected to have an effect on other countries that are currently debating the issue including Japan and South Korea.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has previously argued that Australia should not introduce marriage equality because it would put us out of step with our Asian neighbours.

In 2015 Joyce appeared on the ABC program Insiders and telling host Barrie Cassidy that Australia’s trade partners in Asia would see marriage equality as something ‘decadent’.

OIP Staff


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