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”

Join the rally today to support same-sex marriage in Taiwan!

Taiwan could become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. People will be gathering on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, in front of the Presidential Building, today, Human Rights Day, to demonstrate the support for the bill currently in the parliament, and to show that love is a right for all.

Protest over same-sex marriage bill

Proposed amendments to Taiwan’s Civil Code that would legalize same-sex marriage by removing the gender description was under review today in the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee of the Legislative Yuan. More than 20000 people gathered in front of the parliament building in Taipei to protest the proposed changes, insisting the bill not to be reviewed by the committee and that at least 30 public hearings should be held before any parliamentary discussion. The protesters, mostly followers from different Christian denominations in Taiwan, also demanded the amendment to be put through a national referendum.

Yu Mei-nu, sponsor of the DPP version of the bill and co-chair of the committee, first refused KMT and PFP demands to hold public hearings, citing numerous hearings have been held since similar bills were first proposed in 2006. The committee review was interrupted several times during the day as MPs failed to reach an agreement on several procedural matters as well as when a few protesters attempted to storm the meeting room. At the end of the day, an agreement was reached between the parties to hold two public hearings in the coming two weeks, one hosted by KMT and the other by DPP, and that an article-by-article review must be completed by the end of this legislative session.

President Tsai Ing-wen supports same-sex marriage. An opinion poll by Taiwan Thinktank An opinion poll by Taiwan Thinktank this month shows 47.8% of Taiwanese support same-sex marriage, while 41.7% oppose; support is particularly high among people age 20-29 at 71.2%, with a 10% decrease for each 10-year age range increase. Support is uniform among DPP and KMT supporters, while particularly high among New Power Party supporters, at 71.8%.

MPs propose same-sex marriage bill

A total of 38 MPs among the Democratic Progressive Party, Kuomintang, and New Power Party have proposed an amendment to Taiwan’s Civil Code that would legalize same-sex marriage. Marriage is currently defined in Civil Code Article 972 as between “the male and the female parties”. The amendment would remove the gender description and change it to be between “the two parties”, and adoption for same-sex couples is also likely to be legalized.

Co-Chair of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, Yu Mei-nu, is the sponsor of DPP’s version of the bill. As the bill has received the required 15 MP signatures, it will be first sent to the Procedure Committee and the full legislative floor for first reading before being referred to the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee. If the bill passes through committee deliberation, then it will be sent back to the full Legislative Yuan for a second article-by-article reading, examination, and debate. Passing that, a third reading of the bill will correct any wording mistakes and contradiction, and the bill could be voted to become law. Continue reading “MPs propose same-sex marriage bill”