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Love Wins in Taiwan

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Members and supporters of the LGBT celebrate outside parliament after the incredible ruling.

Members and supporters of the LGBT celebrate outside parliament after the incredible ruling.

Photo Courtesy of AFP/Sam Yeh

Photo Courtesy of AFP/Sam Yeh

Members and supporters of the LGBT celebrate outside parliament after the incredible ruling.

Courtney Poon, Photojournalist

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On May 24th, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, paving the way for Taiwan to become the first Asian country to legalize it. The panel of judges has given the island’s parliament, known as the Legislative Yuan, two years to amend or enact new laws, which could potentially make Taiwan the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. Yu, a Taiwanese legislator, said the court’s explanation means that even if lawmakers do not pass legislation allowing same-sex marriage in the next two years, gay couples will still be able to marry by this time in 2019 (CNN). Many members of the LGBT community, like Carson Dike (11), “think that this is an incredible step forward for equality” and are “thrilled to see how the community is constantly growing and being accepted worldwide.”

Taiwan has been the leading country in Asia for LGBT rights, even before same-sex marriage was legalized. In fact, Taipei Pride is the second largest gay pride event in Asia, attracting more than 78,000 participants. However in other Asian countries like South Korea and Indonesia, gay men are still persecuted and discriminated against (Forbes). Hopefully, Taiwan’s act will encourage other countries to legalize same-sex marriage and support LGBT rights.

Obviously, many supporters and members of the LGBT community all across the world are overjoyed with this historic ruling. Derek Ma (11) comments, “As someone who is both Taiwanese and gay, it’s made me so happy that we’ve made history by becoming the first Asian nation to officially legalize same sex marriage. Taipei Pride is such a major event every single year with people coming from all over the world to celebrate the same idea. I understand how hard Taiwanese youth, celebrities and politicians have fought for this movement, and it is great to see how change has occurred and how Taiwan has made another mark in history.” Amanda Chung (10) agrees, saying, “Hearing that Taiwan legalized gay marriage makes me so proud to be Taiwanese. We’ve accomplished a lot in recent years such as electing a female president, and I hope Taiwan continues to grow and do great things.”

Although many people are celebrating, everyone must keep in mind that parliament may not amend the existing marriage laws to include same-sex couples. Instead, parliament could only give certain rights to same-sex couples, not equal treatment (BBC). Overall, this momentous victory for the LGBT community will be remembered for decades.

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