Taiwan’s Judicial Secretary-General Assures Marriage Equality Will Happen By May 2019

As Instinct reported on November 24, Taiwan citizens overwhelmingly voted ‘no’ via public referendum to amend the country’s Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage.

The anti-LGBTQ forces have since informed their supporters that the results of the referendum put a stop to the possibility of marriage equality in Taiwan. In fact, some international news outlets have repeated those claims.

Wrong.

As Taiwan News reports, the country’s Judicial Secretary-General, Lu Tai-lang, addressed the Judiciary and Organic Laws committee of the Legislative Yuan today clarifying that public referendums do not override the Constitutional Court’s 2017 ruling on same-sex marriage.

On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s highest court ruled that provisions that “do not allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the purpose of living a common life” violate people’s right to equality and freedom of marriage under articles 7 and 22 of constitutional law.

The court gave Taiwan’s lawmakers two years to decide not if but how to implement legal same-sex marriage.

Per the Constitutional Court’s ruling, should Taiwan’s Parliament fail to arrive at a legislative solution by May 24, 2019, same-sex marriage will automatically become the law of the land.

Taiwan’s lawmakers have been locked in a stalemate on what approach to take in legalizing same-sex marriage – should it be realized through changes to the Civil Code, or via brand new legislation?

Conservative lawmakers don’t approve of writing marriage equality into their Civil Code. But LGBTQ advocates say a separate marriage law, similar to the UK’s Civil Partnership Act, would fail to provide true equal rights.

Taiwan, perhaps the most liberal country in the Asian region in terms of LGBTQ visibility, recently hosted over 130,000 participants in their Pride Parade.

(h/t Taiwan News)

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