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The 14-judge panel of Taiwan’s top court on Wednesday ruled in favour of same-sex marriage, thus becoming the first one in Asia to open the way for the legalisation of gay marriages. The court, known as Legislative Yuan, said that by not allowing two persons of the same sex to marry in order to safeguard nation’s ethical values has no rational basis. The court concluded that the current civil code which allows only a man and woman to marry is also against the spirit of right to equality. This ruling means that the government will either have to amend current laws or pass a new legislation within two years. However, it cannot be said how far will parliament go in this regard.
The LGBT community hopes that the parliament amends current marriage laws to include same-sex couples so that they could also have the same rights enjoyed by opposite-sex couples. But they fear that the legislators will instead form a new law for same-sex marriages which may deprive them of equal treatment in some matters.
Taiwan is known for its liberal values and holds the biggest gay parade in the region. In other parts of the world same-sex marriage is legal (nationwide or in some parts) in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.