Taiwan’s top judges on Wednesday ruled in favour of gay marriage, paving the way for it to become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex unions.
The highest court ruled that current laws preventing members of the same sex from marrying violated their right to equality and were unconstitutional, BBC reported.
It gave Parliament two years to amend existing laws or pass new ones. The landmark decision came as the LGBT community faces increasing persecution in the region.
In a press release following the ruling, the court said that “disallowing two persons of the same sex to marry, for the sake of safeguarding basic ethical orders” constituted a “different treatment” with “no rational basis”.
The court concluded that “such different treatment is incompatible with the spirit and meaning of the right to equality” as protected by Taiwan’s Constitution.
Religious and parents groups opposed to gay marriage said they will lobby Parliament not to pass any laws on legalisation, according to the report.
They argued such an important matter that affects the whole of society shouldn’t be decided by just a few grand justices, but by the people in a referendum.
The momentum for marriage equality has been building since last year, when President Tsai Ing-wen, openly supportive of the move, came to power.