Taiwan will become the first Asian jurisdiction to legalise same-sex marriage today. Despite the population voting against same-sex marriage in
Taiwan will become the first Asian jurisdiction to legalise same-sex marriage today.
Despite the population voting against same-sex marriage in a referendum on November 24, 2018, the Legislature chose to enact the legislation after the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of the prohibition as unconstitutional.
Although diverse, culture in East Asia is generally based upon conservative family values, with non-conformity traditionally stigmatised. Religious law forbidding homosexual relationships is often practiced in Islamic states across the region. In South Asian countries, homosexual activity was criminalised in the British colonial era and, excepting India and Nepal, these countries have not reverted such legislation after independence. While East and Southeast Asian countries have decriminalised homosexual activity, social stigma and political systems continue to passively discourage gay rights.
Taiwan’s act comes in stark contrast to developments in mainland China where human rights – especially those in context of gender identity and sexual orientation – are the subject of state-based oppression.
Expect other Asian countries to come up with respective legislations towards recognising same-sex civil partnerships, if not complete marriage and family rights.
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