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In another first for Asia, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, paving the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions and cementing its status as a beacon for LGBT rights.

This big decision followed the first ever win my an Asian man in the Mr. Gay World final earlier in the month when Mr. Gay Philippines John Raspado won the title.

The decision in Taiwan, although laws still need to be enacted, has been seen as a beacon for the region following arrests and beatings in Indonesia recently.


The court has made the determination that the Island’s Civil Code will be amended by lawmakers to change from the current statement that only a man and a woman can marry.

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Local LGBT activists are ecstatic with the decision, the same activists who have fought for decades for marriage equality.

Ying Xin, Executive Director of the Beijing LGBT Centre said this is significant for all of Asia.

“Without a doubt, Taiwan is walking in front of other Asian countries on this.”

Wayne Lin, chairman of the nongovernmental Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, called the ruling a “milestone” for the island.

Mr Gay Taiwan 2016 Touya Xiao (Facebook) Photo: XX Daniel L Studio
Mr Gay Taiwan 2016 Touya Xiao (Facebook) Photo: XX Daniel L Studio

In Taipei, activists will now turn their attention to influencing how legislators interpret the ruling and what that means for same-sex couples and families.

There is some fear among campaigners that lawmakers will appease opponents of same-sex rights by creating a special category for same-sex unions. In a news release issued after the ruling, Lin urged lawmakers to move without “hesitation” to amend the Civil Code to guarantee full equality.

For now, supporters of same-sex marriage are celebrating with a new, engagement-inspired slogan: “Taiwan says yes!”

Last Updated on May 25, 2017

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