Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage

After hearing oral arguments on the case concerning same-sex marriage brought by activist Chi Chia-wei and Taipei City Government two months ago, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court today ruled that the marriage chapter of the Civil Code, which states marriage as between “the male and the female parties,” to be unconstitutional. (Read the Court’s English press release.)

In its Interpretation 748, the Court contends that Part IV Chapter II of the Civil Code on marriage violates ROC Constitution Article 22, protecting people the freedom of marriage, and Article 7, stating all ROC citizens to be equal. The Court rules that relevant authorities must amend or enact laws within two years to protect the right of marriage for same-sex couples. However, the Court did not specify whether the parliament should amend the Civil Code, add additional articles allowing same-sex marriage, or to create a separate law allowing same-sex civil union. Continue reading “Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage”

Constitutional Court heard debate on same-sex marriage

Taiwan’s Constitutional Court today heard a case brought by LGBT activist Chi Chia-wei and Taipei City Government on whether the Article 972 of the Civil Code, which states marriage as between “the male and the female parties,” is unconstitutional.

ROC Constitution, Article 7: All citizens of the Republic of China, irrespective of sex, religion, race, class, or party affiliation, shall be equal before the law.

The high court heard oral arguments from attorneys representing the petitioners as well as from the justice minister, representative from the interior ministry, and representative from the Chi’s local household registration office. Six expert witnesses, all constitutional law experts, were also selected by the 14-member court to offer their opinions on the case (one of the 15 justices recused himself). The petitioners believe that same-sex marriage should be included in the Civil Code, while the justice ministry believes that a separate law for civil partnership is more appropriate until further consensus among Taiwanese people on the issue is reached. Continue reading “Constitutional Court heard debate on same-sex marriage”

45 Taiwanese kidnapped by China in Kenya

Two groups of Taiwanese citizens were deported from Kenya and forcibly taken by Chinese officials onto flights to China last Friday and this Tuesday. The 45 Taiwanese citizens were among two larger groups of mostly Chinese citizens accused of telecommunication frauds targeting victims in China. Kenya High Court acquitted 37 individuals, 23 of which are Taiwanese, of fraud on April 5 and ordered these individuals to leave Kenya within 21 days. Chinese embassy officials, with assistance from Kenyan police, forced a group of the accused, including 8 Taiwanese citizens, onto a China Southern Airlines flight last Friday. On April 8, the second group accused of telecommunication frauds, including 22 Taiwanese citizens, was arrested. The remaining 15 from the first group and 22 from the second group were forcibly put on a charter China Southern Airlines flight to Beijing on Tuesday. Kenyan police reportedly used tear gas to subdue those resisting deportation and lied about Taiwan’s government having arranged plane tickets to return them home.

Due to the lack of diplomatic relationship between Taiwan and Kenya, officials from Taiwan’s representative office in South Africa dispatched to Kenya had difficulty gaining access to those arrested.

China maintains that it has jurisdiction over the case because victims of the case are Chinese citizens, and praised the Kenyan authorities for upholding the “One China” policy.

Why does this matter? PRC considers its laws applicable to all PRC nationals, supposedly including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. That means, if PRC wants, they can use any charges against Taiwanese citizens abroad and forcibly abduct them to be tried in the PRC. Read more about the incidents on New York Times and Al Jazeera.