Taiwain’s Supreme Court is hearing a case that could make same-sex marriages legal.
The 14 judges are currently hearing a case that, if siccesful for the gay rights activists, could make it the first nation in Asia to introduce equality.
Long-serving gay activist Chi Chia-wei attempted at registering marriage with his male partner in 2013, but was rejected.
He responded by petitioning for the case to be heard, prompting the current situation.
Their case has been helped by municipal authorities in Taipei seeking clarity over other same-sex marriage requests.
Taiwan’s civil code that states marriage should be between a man and woman.
However, it is hotly disputed as to whether the code is constituional, something experts and judges will have to debate.
It’s the first time the judiciary is opening the Constitutional Court on the issue of marriage equality.
If campaigners succeed, legislators will be forced to change the law to allow gay couples the protection.
In Taiwan, the issues has been widely debated, with strong views for and against equality.
Hundreds of people took to the streets in Taiwan recently to protest against same-sex marriage laws, which are also being discussed by politicians.
The protest which was held in Taipei was ran in association with the Rescue Taiwan Hope Alliance, a homophobic group working to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Protesters held signs showing pro-LGBT politicians as scorpions, snakes and tarantulas.
Chao Ying-ling, a spokesperson for the alliance said: “In our view, a huge amount of controversy has already been caused, and the government is not prepared to address the issue, so it should be put aside temporarily.”
The protest was one of many in recent months that have aimed to prevent the laws being passed.
Although anti-LGBT groups are kicking up a fuss with the protests, it seems that Taiwan may be set to become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex weddings.
Organisers for the protest are even dismissing anti-LGBT groups by allowing LGBT activists to have their own tents at the protest.
Liu Yu, a gay internet celebrity in Taiwan, set up in one of the tents which promoted inclusivity.
“They told us not to make a scene and that they were willing to give us two tents, while urging us not to argue and instead take a look at their ideas,” he said.
“It is not too bad — of all the events I have attended, this is the first time I’ve been directly invited.”
Hsu hosted, financed and was the main organiser for the event. She said that the protest was not anti-LGBT, and insisted they were just worried about teaching children about LGBT people.
“In the past, homosexual protesters were barred, even though we often talk about love and tolerance,” she said. “In ordinary life, there are homosexual friends all around us, and there is no need to exclude or create conflict and opposition.”
by Benjamin Butterworth
Source – PinkNews