Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 (2017)
May 24, 2017 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Taiwan's Constitutional Court finds restrictions against same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Taiwan, one of the most progressive states in Asia when it comes to LGBTQI equality, heard a case in March pushed in part by long-time activist CHI Chia-wei (祁家威) arguing for marriage equality. Today, with two dissents and one abstension, the Constitutional Court requires the national legislature, the Legislative Yuan, to amend the current Civil Code within two years--and if the legislature fails, same-sex couples will still be allowed to register their marriages with the government.

Strongly supported by President TSAI Ing-wen (蔡英文), this ruling makes Taiwan the first country in Asian to grant marriage equality.

---

Odds and Ends:
Ruling (in Chinese).
Ruling (in English) (not live yet, assumption on where it'll be).
Unofficial translated version
Video stream of event hosted by Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy.
Differences between Constitutional Courts and Supreme Courts (or, for tl;dr, here's a comment on the blue that sorta explains it).

Elsewhere in East Asia:
Hong Kong - employees in SSM married overseas entitled to benefits.
Japan - Shibuya City in Tokyo recognizes SSM, but this carries no national weight.
Korea - Seoul Mayor PARK Won-soon (박원순) supports marriage equality, but new president MOON Jae-in (문재인) of the same party is somewhat less enlightened.
posted by anem0ne (13 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
 


That's fantastic news, and this is a great roundup.
posted by cortex at 11:48 AM on May 24 [6 favorites]


This part of the decision has just been echoing around in my head all day:

"[T]he freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, once legally recognized, will constitute the collective basis, together with opposite-sex marriage, for a stable society. The need, capability, willingness and longing, in both physical and psychological senses, for creating such permanent unions of intimate and exclusive nature are equally essential to homosexuals and heterosexuals, given the importance of the freedom of marriage to the sound development of personality and safeguarding of human dignity. Both types of union shall be protected by the freedom of marriage[...]"

Damn if it doesn't sound good.
posted by wakannai at 12:28 PM on May 24 [11 favorites]


WELCOME TO THE PARTY!

*does same-sex-marriage celebration dance*
posted by rmd1023 at 12:38 PM on May 24


This is terrific news, thanks for posting it! I lived in Taiwan forty years ago, when it was an authoritarian society still run by the Chiang clan in which anyone who was different in any way was pretty much constantly terrified; one of the great pleasures of recent decades has been seeing it open up and stop persecuting people, and even allow people to support independence. Viva Taiwan!
posted by languagehat at 12:48 PM on May 24 [7 favorites]


Yay.
posted by kyrademon at 1:26 PM on May 24



posted by wanderingmind at 1:47 PM on May 24


Chi Chia-wei is an awesome role model for activism and persistence. Yay and congratulations, Taiwan!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 1:48 PM on May 24


"[T]he freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, once legally recognized, will constitute the collective basis, together with opposite-sex marriage, for a stable society. The need, capability, willingness and longing, in both physical and psychological senses, for creating such permanent unions of intimate and exclusive nature are equally essential to homosexuals and heterosexuals, given the importance of the freedom of marriage to the sound development of personality and safeguarding of human dignity. Both types of union shall be protected by the freedom of marriage[...]"

Damn if it doesn't sound good.


It doesn't sound good. It's standard, conservative "defense of marriage" logic, in that marriage is what's "good" for "personality", "dignity", "stable/harmonious society". It's "colorblind equality", applied in this case so that homosexuality is philosophically inscribed within the same set of traditional values.

Now that's not to say this is bad news. I grew up in Taiwan. I'm gay myself. So I have a set of lived experiences from that. I can also validly resent White people for speaking about what is good or bad about this. And for what it's worth, if efforts to free the lives of LGBT means using the logic of society against itself like in the above, I'm all for that. But that's no excuse to be sentimental and not look for the more critical interpretation of a legal text.
posted by polymodus at 2:03 PM on May 24 [5 favorites]


It doesn't sound good. It's standard, conservative "defense of marriage" logic, in that marriage is what's "good" for "personality", "dignity", "stable/harmonious society". It's "colorblind equality", applied in this case so that homosexuality is philosophically inscribed within the same set of traditional values.

I completely agree. I had trouble deciding whether to go with my original sentiment, which was "I don't know if I like the ideology behind this kind of shaky legal reasoning, but damn if it doesn't sound good."

...then I decided I just wanted to feel good about it.

Which I guess falls squarely in the territory of being sentimental, so fair is fair.
posted by wakannai at 2:11 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


To clarify, Israel also recognizes same-sex marriages performed legally abroad but has no civil marriage at all and religious authorities there do not perform them.
posted by koavf at 4:32 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


I'm sure Taiwan has a very different legal history, but the marriage laws in Common Law countries came out of the need to protect people who would otherwise be vulnerable to abandonment by their partner. It wasn't socially palatable to say this, so it was dressed up by saying that real marriage is a sacred bond and consequently even de-facto marriages are somehow special enough to deserve acknowledgement. But it really has always been about inheritance and abandoned wives.

What l'm saying is, ignore the rhetoric, and focus on the good effects for people who are or want to be in close, committed relationships, and who need legal protection and acknowledgement.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:33 PM on May 24 [8 favorites]


🏳️‍🌈🇹🇼 Yay!
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:17 PM on May 24


« Older ASCII Art - a century before ASCII   |   "these statues were a part of that terrorism as... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments