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Taiwanese Premier says same-sex marriage bill will be filed by end of year

Josh Jackman October 28, 2017
TAIWAN-GAY-RIGHTS

Two participants pose during the annual Taiwan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride parade in Taipei on October 29, 2016.

The Premier of Taiwan has said a same-sex marriage bill will be sent to the legislature by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Taiwan became the first Asian country to order its parliament to legalise same-sex marriage.

The highest court in the land in May ruled that Article 972 of the Civil Code, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.

And now Premier Lai Ching-te has said Executive Yuan will attempt to have a same-sex marriage bill filed by the end of the current legislative session.

Writing on Facebook, the Premier said the bill will be filed in accordance with the May ruling.

“We will seek the greatest consensus of society in the most active way,” he wrote.

“I support the idea that people who love each other should have the right to be together,” Lai wrote.

Since the ruling, the parliament will now be forced to amend the laws or pass new ones to formalise the decision in favour of marriage equality.

The case leading to the ruling was brought to the court by LGBT rights campaigner Chi Chia-wei.

The long-serving gay activist attempted registering his marriage to his male partner in 2013, but was rejected.

He responded by petitioning for the case to be heard, prompting a legal struggle.

His case was helped by municipal authorities in Taipei seeking clarity over other same-sex marriage requests.

Speaking to AFP before the ruling, Chi said he was “100 percent confident” that the court would rule in favour of same-sex marriage.

He urged a quick change in the process of marrying and said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry immediately.

The Committee in Taiwan’s Legislature passed an amendment to include same-sex marriage in the Civil Code of the country on 26 December.

The passage of the amendment was the first step to legalising same-sex marriage.

The issue of same-sex marriage has been widely and hotly debated in the country over the past year.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in March to protest the proposed changes in marriage laws.

The protest which was held in Taipei was organised in association with the Rescue Taiwan Hope Alliance, a homophobic group working to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Protesters held signs showing pro-LGBT politicians as scorpions, snakes and tarantulas.

Religious groups have also been at the forefront of opposing to the shift towards equality.

More: Asia, Asia, court, Law, LGBT rights, same sex marriage, Taiwan, Taiwan, World

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