Skip to main content

Expert comment: Taiwan legalises same-sex marriage

Taiwan's parliament has become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage following a vote today, 17th May 2019.

In 2017 Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry, they then had two years to pass the changes.

Dr J. Daniel Luther, from the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick and the founder of Queer Asia comments:

“The impact that Taiwan will have in signalling to other countries in Asia to enact positive legislation and accept gay marriage is promising. In a majority of Asian countries the narrative is continually prevailing that same-sex rights and acceptability only happens in Western Countries, but this doesn’t have to be the case and Taiwan can change that now.
“It also shows that working together does achieve goals, several Asian and countries in Africa and the Caribbean retain colonial era anti-sodomy laws criminalising same-sex activities between men – such as the now decriminalised Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code - but lesbians and trans people are still persecuted under different laws and are not protected and reflects differences in these movements. However in Taiwan the struggle for same-sex marriage has galvanised a greater solidarity across the LGBTQ+ community and this can hopefully encourage movements across Asia.”


Dr Song-Chuan Chen from the Department of History at the University of Warwick adds:

"Taiwan’s passage of legislation allowing same-sex marriage on Friday is a historic moment not just for Taiwan, Asia and the Chinese-speaking world, but for the globalising world. It proves that Chinese and other non-Western cultures can be fully compatible with Western culture in matters of human rights. China has a long history of respect for differences. The passing of this law draws its inspiration from the progressive liberal politics of the West, but is also a fulfilment of a Chinese humanitarian tradition."

ENDS

17 MAY 2019

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science 
University of Warwick 
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221 
E-mail: alice dot j dot scott at warwick dot ac dot uk