Taiwan unveils long-awaited gay marriage bill

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05/11/2019

Taiwan’s ruling party unveiled its latest attempt to create Asia’s first gay marriage law on Thursday, May 9, a bill offering same-sex couples “permanent unions” as well as limited adoption rights, despite stiff opposition from conservatives. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has had a stuttering and troubled journey towards delivering on their 2016 election promise to grant same-sex couples equal marriage rights. In November, conservatives won a referendum against revising the island’s Civil Code to allow gay marriage, in a blow to President Tsai Ing-wen’s party and a stark illustration of the social divide caused by the issue. The referendum came after Taiwan’s Constitutional Court voted to legalize gay marriage in 2017 – the first place in Asia to do so – arguing that denying same-sex couples marriage rights was unconstitutional. The court ordered the government to amend the law by May 24, 2019 but did not specify how it wanted gay marriage to be brought in.

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