Is Taiwan Ready to Legalise Gay Marriage?

A decision to draft a same-sex partnership law could mean that Taiwan will become the first Asian country to legalise gay marriage.

Judicial authorities had previously suggested that a draft proposal would only occur when the public was "ready".

Campaigners for marriage equality were recently buoyed by developments in the United States: where a Supreme Court decision overturned statewide bans on gay marriage.  

Taiwan has, however, broached the issue of gay marriage before. In 2003, a proposal by the country’s Executive Branch was rejected because of widespread opposition.

Only last month, Deputy Minister of Justice, Chen Ming-Tang said that the issue remained “extremely controversial” and that there were no plans to change the law. 

Yet there is widespread support for gay marriage. In November 2014, Pink News reported approval to be at 68%. Equally, thousands of demonstrators were on the streets of Taipei earlier this month in support of a law change. 

From what we understand, it'll be the results of another online poll that will form the basis of the draft proposal. The fact that support is already weighted in favour is considered to be a very good sign. 

Of course, there are other potential factors at play, too. 2016 is an election year in Taiwan and there are fears that this is just showboating for votes.

There’s criticism, too, that any draft proposal will create additional marriage laws rather than simply amending the present one. It suggests that the Government sees a distinction between heterosexual and homosexual marriage something that campaigners are unhappy about.

Still, the future for equal marriage in Taiwan does look hopeful and we’ll be keeping a close eye on developments. 

2015 has been a very good year for equal marriage, so Taiwan would be in good company. Ireland voted yes to gay marriage, Chile started allowing same-sex unions and so, too, did Ecuador

Mexico quietly overturned its ban on same-sex marriage, The island of Pitcairn showed that size was no barrier to equality and then there was the big one: The United States made gay marriage legal.

It looks like Jersey and Guernsey could allow gay marriage in 2017 and, of course, there's Puerto Rico's recent announcement that they, too, would be allowing same-sex weddings. 

And we're only halfway through the year.

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