New same-sex marriage law in Taiwan a victory for human rights and democracy
After more than 30 years of endless efforts from the LGBT community, today, Taiwanese Parliament, the Legislative Yuan, legalized same-sex marriage following the Constitutional Court's ruling in 2017. As a network of LGBTI organizations in the region, including many of those in Taiwan, ILGA Asia would like to send congratulations to LGBTI individuals, communities and activists in Taiwan who have been working so diligently towards this victory.
This is the first time same-sex marriage is legalized in an Asian society - a truly historic moment for the Asian LGBTI movement. It proves that Asian values can embrace love, kindness, equality and diversity, all at the same time. This is what Asian values are about, not discrimination and hatred. We believe that the law will contribute to removing the misunderstanding and social stigma against LGBTI people in Taiwan while promoting social acceptance of differences and diversity.
While a few other Asian countries are still considering different options for same-sex union, Taiwan is leading an excellent example that equality doesn’t have to wait, and same-sex couples don’t have to be treated as second-class citizens. Marriage should be accessible for two people who are in love and committed to each other. We hope that this event will open up opportunities for dialogue and exchange between Taiwan and other countries in the region in fostering an enabling legal environment for their citizens to thrive, and to live with respect and dignity.
ILGA Asia once again congratulates the Taiwanese LGBTI civil society on the results of their continuous and tireless dialogues with the authorities and policymakers, countless education and advocacy campaigns with the wider public, and the enduring courage sustaining their will to fight for decades. This is not only a victory for the LGBTI community, but also a victory for democracy and respect for human rights.
Today is also International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia. On May 17th, 1990, World Health Organization (WHO) decided to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. We, LGBTI people, demand and deserve justice and protection in every society in Asia and around the world. This victory in Taiwan will definitely have positive impacts over other Asian countries and establish a good precedent that love wins and will always win.