ASIA: Taiwan rules ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional


Taiwan Constitutional court has ruled that the Taiwanese Civil Code banning two people of the same sex marrying is unconstitutional.

The court ordered the government, after two civil suits that questioned the constitutionality of a clause banning same-sex marriage in the Civil Code. One suit was brought by longtime gay activist Chi Chia-wei, who spent time in prison in 1986 when he came out as gay, and the other by the Taipei City government.

Chi, who has been fighting for marriage equality for over three decades, thanked all involved in the court proceedings at a press conference.

He called for “forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness, and communication, communication, communication” with anti–same-sex marriage groups.

“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.”

Taiwan is a small island nation 180km east of China with modern cities, traditional Chinese temples, hot springs resorts and dramatic mountainous terrain. Taipei, the country’s capital in the north, is known for its busy night markets, Chinese Imperial art at the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101, a 509m-tall, bamboo-shaped skyscraper with an observation deck.

Population: 23.52 million (2016)
Currency: New Taiwan dollar
Official language: Standard Mandarin

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