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Searching For A Simple Word: Taiwan’s Constitutional Court Hears the Case of Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples in March
For the very first time in Asia, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court (“the Grand Justices of the Judicial Yuan”) announced yesterday that it is going to hear the oral arguments in the two joined cases on marriage equality for same-sex couples, scheduled in the end of March. There are four questions before the bench: 1) Are same-sex couples allowed to get married under the current law?; 2) If not, is the current law unconstitutional on ground of infringing the Right to Marry under Article 22 of the Constitution?; 3) Alternatively, is the current law contrary to Equal Protection under Article 7 of the Constitution?; and 4) Are institutions other than marriage, for example same-sex partnership, adequate to protect rights of same-sex couples, in a manner consistent with the constitutional provisions on equal protection and the right to marry? The Court is obligated to deliver its ruling (“the Constitutional Interpretation”) within two months after the conclusion of oral pleadings. In that case that the current law is found unconstitutional by the Court, by May 2017, Taiwan will probably become the first country in Asia that provides a legal means in protecting the equal right to marry of same-sex couples.