TAIPEI (Taiwan News)---The Constitutional Court has ruled this afternoon that the denial of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and same-sex couples have the right to marry.
According to the statement released by the Council of Grand Justices, denying same-sex couples the right to marry is “in violation of both the people’s freedom and the people’s right to equality.”
Secretary General of the Judicial Yuan Lu Tai-lang (呂太郎) announced that the Ministry of Justice should have relevant laws amended within two years. Same-sex couples will have the right to register to marry directly if the ministry failed to enact the amendment.
Proponents of same-sex marriage had gathered outside of the Legislative Yuan before the interpretation was released. Hundreds of supporters celebrated what is considered to be their first victory, waving rainbow flags symbolizing LGBTQ rights and marriage equality.
Jennifer Lu (呂欣潔), member of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association and the organizer of the campaign, said that this is only the first step, “equality in all aspects needs to be reached through education.”
Tsen Chao-yuan (曾昭媛), senior research fellow of Awakening Foundation, asked the President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to keep the promise she made during her presidential campaign.
“What we’re asking for is the equality to marry and the assurance of rights, not some other laws specifically made for same-sex couples,” she said.
Groups opposing same-sex marriage, including Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation, protested outside the Judicial Yuan after the result came out. Some requested the invalidation of the interpretation and the president to step down.
As the ruling has been made, the responsibility has now come to the Legislature and they are expected to amend current laws within the two years provided by the Constitutional Court.
“But of course we hope that it won’t take two years to pass the law,” said Lu.