Mainland gay activists hail Taiwan same-sex marriage verdict

By Li Ruohan Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/24 20:18:39

A top Taiwan court on Wednesday ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, the first region in Asia to announce such a ruling, encouraging Chinese mainland activists and experts who believe "it's only a matter of time" that it would soon be legalized across the mainland.

The "Judicial Yuan" in Taiwan said on Wednesday that current marriage laws violated both marriage freedom and equal rights. The court also gave a two year timeframe to legalize same-sex marriage.

The court added that if the changes are not made within two years, same-sex couples could get married based on the interpretation.

"14 justices voted in favor of same-sex marriage, four more than the 10 needed, with only two judges dissenting," AFP reported.

"The ruling proves that same-sex marriage is acceptable in Chinese culture, and is likely for the Chinese mainland to legalize gay marriage within a decade," Li Yinhe, a sociologist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

LGBT activists in the Chinese mainland likewise expressed the same wish, including Sun Wenlin, the first in the Chinese mainland who filed--but lost--a lawsuit to register his same-sex marriage in 2016.

"I am thrilled to see the ruling, and I think it has encouraged efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the Chinese mainland," Sun told the Global Times.

Sun added that the process is urgent, concerning the increasing number of gay couple in the mainland.

However, Li pointed out that in order to hasten the process, the legal mechanism for sexual minorities to express their opinion and protect their interest needs to be improved, such as having an LGBT political adviser and legislator.

Meanwhile, more efforts are needed to reduce discrimination against sexual minorities, she added.

Sixty-three countries have nondiscrimination laws that protect gay men and lesbians, and 23 recognize same-sex marriage, the New York Times reported on May 17.

Posted in: SOCIETY,LAW

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