Judges in Taipei are today considering a court case that could make Taiwan the first place in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Taiwan has been considering legalizing same-sex marriage for some time now. The president and much of the public favor the change, though conservatives, particularly Christians, staunchly oppose the move.
The BBC writes:
A panel of 14 justices are hearing arguments and will debate whether a line in Taiwan’s civil code, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.
Veteran gay activist Chi Chia-wei, whose attempt at registering marriage with his partner in 2013 was rejected, had petitioned for the case to be heard.
Taipei city authorities, who have been receiving requests for gay marriage, had also petitioned for clarity.
If the court rules in favor of Chi, parliament would be forced to amend Taiwan’s laws and offer protection of the law to gay couples. That would effectively legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan.
Today the Taipei court saw both gay rights campaigners — carrying rainbow flags — and anti-gay marriage protesters rallying.
The court’s ruling is expected to come down in the next two months.
(Header image via Flickr)