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Taiwan becomes first country in Asia to introduce same-sex marriage

2017-05-25
Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage after a court ruling. The country's top court struck down current laws that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. In their ruling, the court argued that current laws are in violation of the freedoms of LGBT+ citizens. The court voted 11-2 in favour of the ruling, with one judge recusing himself. The ruling states: “The freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, once legally recognised, will constitute the collective basis, together with opposite-sex marriage, for a stable society.” Chi Chia-wei, a longtime campaigner for LGBT+ rights in the country, said that he is "very happy" with the courts decision. “At last the government will be able to modify the law within two years, or sooner if the Democratic Progressive party pushes harder,” he said. Hundreds of people took to the streets of Taipei in March to protest against same-sex marriage laws. The protest ran in association with the Rescue Taiwan Hope Alliance, a homophobic group working to prevent the legislation of same-sex marriage. Protesters at the rally held signs showing pro-LGBT politicians as scorpions, snakes and tarantulas. Chao Ying-Ling, a spokesperson for the alliance, said at the time: “In our view, a huge amount of controversy has already been caused, and the government is not prepared to address the issue, so it should be put aside temporarily.”