Taiwan’s highest constitutional court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, making it the first nation in Asia to move toward legalizing gay marriage.
The Judicial Yuan stated that Taiwan’s current law violates marriage and equality rights. It ruled that “such different treatment is incompatible with the spirit and meaning of the right to equality.”
The court stipulated that if the law isn’t changed within two years, “two persons of the same sex who intend to create the said permanent union shall be allowed to have their marriage registration effectuated.”
Taiwan’s progressive stance on same-sex marriage differs from conservative views widely held throughout Asia. Taiwan hosts the largest annual gay-pride event in the region. Meanwhile, gay sex is criminalized in Singapore and homosexuality is grounds for arrest in Indonesia, according to the Washington Post.
“Without a doubt, Taiwan is walking in front of other Asian countries on this. This is significant for all of Asia,” stated Ying Xin, a director of Beijing’s LGBT center.
“…the freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, once legally recognized, will constitute the collective basis, together with opposite-sex marriage, for a stable society,” the court stated.
The ruling was met with celebrations from supporters outside the parliament, reported Reuters. “This is a clear victory for equal rights in marriage and it is also a victory for all the people,” said the case’s lead lawyer, Victoria Hsu.