The tortuous path to gay marriage in Taiwan

Even when gay marriage seemed inevitable, opponents did not give up

When taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise gay marriage on May 17th, it was not only the tens of thousands of rainbow flag-waving demonstrators outside the legislature who cheered. Advocates of equal rights across Asia declared Taiwan a beacon of inspiration. Jerome Yau of hk Marriage Equality, which is calling for same-sex marriage in Hong Kong, says Taiwan’s achievement “sends a strong signal that same-sex marriage can happen elsewhere in Asia”.

It surely can. Yet circumstances in Taiwan were uniquely favourable and, even then, progress did not come easily. The gay pride parade in Taipei, the capital, is far and away the region’s biggest. Taiwan has a vibrant democracy and civil society. Tsai Ing-wen, the president, when campaigning for the job in 2015, declared herself a firm supporter of same-sex marriage. And in 2017 the constitutional court ruled that barring same-sex couples from marrying violated their right to be treated equally. It ordered parliament to pass legislation permitting same-sex marriage within two years. The deadline was May 24th.

Source – The Economist