This week has seen a massive victory for equality on the international stage, as Taiwan has become the first Asian nation to declare the legality of same-sex marriage.
The island nation’s highest judicial body – the Constitutional Court – ruled that laws on the books specifically prohibiting same-sex couple form marrying violate constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, in turn declaring that sexual orientation is an “immutable characteristic that is resistant to change.”
To be clear, same-sex marriage isn’t legal yet. The federal government now has two years to alter laws in order to comply with the court’s ruling. If it fails to do so, legal experts confirm that same-sex couples will be able to marry in 2019 regardless.
Beijing LGBT Center Executive Director Ying Xin discussed the ruling in relation to the rest of the continent’s legal codes: “Without a doubt, Taiwan is walking in front of other Asian countries on this. This is significant for all of Asia.”