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Taiwan court ruling on same-sex marriage happening in May

Taiwan court ruling on same-sex marriage happening in May

People on both sides of the marriage equality debate gather outside Taiwan's Constitutional Court ahead of a landmark hearing on the issue. Photo: Twitter via SCMP News

Taiwan’s top court will make an official ruling on the constitutionality of marriage equality on May 24.

Its secretariat confirmed on Monday that the 14 grand justices of Taiwan’s Constitutional Court will reveal their decision at the end of May, according to a news report in The China Post.

City government officials and lawyers for LGBTI activist Chi Chia-wei presented arguments to the court last month. They argued marriage equality should be legal because Taiwan’s Constitution says ‘all citizens, irrespective of sex … shall be equal before the law’.

If the justices agree with that interpretation then it will all but legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan. It would make Taiwan the first Asian country to have marriage equality.

A same-sex marriage Bill was introduced into the country’s parliament in December, but the Court’s ruling would overide any parliamentary decision.

It has to be Constitutional

Marriage equality advocates are pushing for changes to the Civil Code rather than creating a unique law for LGBTI couples. Advocates argue that seperate marriage legislation makes them feel like second-class citizens.

‘We are concerned that our Justice Department clearly supports a separate law for the same-sex couple,’ said Jennifer Lu, leader of the Marriage Equality Campaign and research fellow at the Taiwan LGBTI Tongzhi Hotline Association.

‘The Minister of Justice Department says that the Civil Code do not allow the same-sex couple to get married right now doesn’t violate the Constitution in Taiwan.

‘We are strongly unsatisfied his attitude and will continue to watch our ruling party in the near future.’