After a grueling advocacy effort made by the LGBT rights defender, Taiwan’s chief court has decided in favour of same-sex marriage. Taiwan is a step closer to becoming the first place in Asia to bring marriage equality.
The decision is a great news for the LGBT and marriage equality movement not only in Taiwan, but also in the region. This historic verdict is undoubtedly a silver lining in the cloud for the international LGBT communities who are still sorrowed by the discriminatory and dishonourable fate faced by the LGBT community in countries around the region, like Indonesia, Bangladesh and South Korea, for the past few months.
Taiwan’s court has ruled that the current civil code that does not recognise same-sex marriages was in breach of two articles of the country’s constitution. For the next two years, the authorities are mandated to enact or amend the pertaining laws until same-sex couples can have the same or similar legal mechanisms to register their marriage equally as to their heterosexual counterparts.
It is a great encouragement for the entire LGBT movement in Asia, after a wave of negative and horrifying news from Indonesia this week, that there are progressive countries in our region that are willing to pave the way for full equality for LGBT people.
The positive wave of LGBT acceptance in Taiwan has been propelled, among other things, by the growing support and participation, up to tens of thousands of people, in Taipei’s Gay Pride march. APCOM is grateful to have taken part in the Pride in 2015, in which President Tsai Ing-wen, who, prior to her winning the presidential election, appeared on the Pride’s main stage and promised the crowd with her support for marriage equality.
APCOM’s presence in the Pride was subsequent to the participation in the 2015 ILGA Asia Conference. At the Conference, APCOM convened sessions on sexual diversity and Christianity, as well as on how to use UN reports & resolutions as a tool for advancing human rights of LGBT persons in Asia.
from left to right: Pakistani trans activist Kami Sid, Associate Director of Research of Human Rights Campaign Saurave Tapa, and APCOM’s Advocacy Manager Shankar Silmula and Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana at the 2015 Taipei Gay Pride
APCOM’s Executive Director, Midnight Poonkasetwattana, joined others on this positive news. “It is a great encouragement for the entire LGBT movement in Asia, after a wave of negative and horrifying news from Indonesia this week, that there are progressive countries in our region that are willing to pave the way for full equality for LGBT people. Let’s hope that more countries in the region follow Taiwan’s example and we, at APCOM, will surely play our part in making it happen!”
Header image: Our communication officer Safir Soeparna and fellow LGBT rights activist from Taiwan during Taipei Gay Pride