TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan’s Council of Grand Justices on Wednesday ruled the current civil law banning same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, ordering the legislature to either amend the law or create a new separate civil partnership legislation, a landmark ruling that paves the way for the nation to become the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Global media has been reacting to the news of Taiwan’s historic ruling. Taiwan News looks at some of the main themes…
“Taiwan court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, first in Asia,” Reuters reported, saying “Taiwan has a reputation as a beacon of liberalism in the region.”
CNN said: “the island has a large gay community and its annual gay pride parade is the biggest in Asia but the issue of marriage equality has divided Taiwanese society, with thousands turning out in recent months to protest for and against marriage equality.”
BBC said it is unclear how far Taiwan’s parliament will go to either amend the existing laws or pass new legislation.
While the nation’s LGBT community hopes legislators to simply amend the current marriage laws to include same-sex couples, which gives them equal treatment in all matters, local religious and parents groups hold opposing views and plan to lobby parliament not to pass any laws on legalization, the BBC reported.
NHK from Japan said young people in Taiwan have been leading the fight to expand LGBT rights, and the nation is set to become the first in Asia to legalize same sex marriage.
Al Jazeera, reported from Taipei, said “Taiwan has in a sense become a beacon of gay rights,” but also added that conservatives were “angry and disappointed,” and likely to protest against the proposed law changes and call for a referendum.
The Washington Post described the ruling as “a victory for Taiwan’s LGBT activists, who have fought for decades for marriage equality, inspiring similar struggles across Asia and elsewhere.”
Taiwan has long been seen as a leader on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and has taken steps toward equality, said the report.
The Guardian said the landmark ruling will mean Taiwan is the first in Asia to allow gay couples to marry, and “cements reputation as beacon of liberalism.”
Titled “Taiwan's same-sex marriage ruling raises hopes across Asia,” French media AFP said Taiwan’s giant step towards allowing same-sex marriage has “reverberated across Asia,” while adding the fight for equality will not be easy in a region where gay sex remains illegal in some countries.