Taiwan Court Legalize Same-sex Marriage

IAS Prelims 2023

Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage. Taiwan’s highest court had just struck down Taiwan’s anti–gay marriage laws as unconstitutional, paving the way for the first system of legalized same-sex marriage anywhere in Asia.

Taiwanese laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying violate their personal freedom and equal protection, the island’s Constitutional Court ruled. The justices called sexual orientation an “immutable characteristic that is resistant to change.”

The court then went further, dictating that within two years a new law needed to be on the books that would allow full freedom to marry. If no specific law appears before that time, same-sex couples will, by default, simply be allowed to register in the same manner as their straight friends.

Marriage equality in Colombia (2016) and South Africa (2006) followed the same path, with constitutional courts giving parliament a set time frame to enact enabling legislation. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government to appoint a committee to explore same-sex marriage legislation. However, no bill has been introduced. Nepal was the 10th country in the world to include express protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, in its 2015 constitution.