TAIPEI, Taiwan In a first for Asia, Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, punctuating a yearslong campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent's most liberal democracies.
However, it was only a matter of time before China approved same-sex marriage, the English version of the Global Times, published by the official People's Daily, said.
The Taipei city government, which also launched a case, had been rejecting marriage applications by same-sex couples and was seeking clarification of the law.
"Our battleground is now at the legislature as there is the possibility that legislators, facing pressure from their constituencies, might opt for legislation of a special law for same-sex couples instead of revising the civil code to make everybody equal", said Jennifer Lu, an activist with the Taiwan LGBT Hotline Association.
Taiwan is one step closer to becoming the first place in Asia where same-sex marriage is legal.
In a press release following the ruling, the court said the island's current Civil Code, which says only a man and woman can marry, meant members of the LGBTQ+ community were subject to a "different treatment" with "no national basis". Even Chinese netizens say they'll want to organize trips to Taiwan to get married on the island.
Awkward! Donald Trump gaffe prompts Israeli Ambassador to face-palm during meeting
While Netanyahu celebrated this stark reversal in US policy, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani objected to Trump's rhetoric. Trump's departure from Obama's emphasis on cooperation with Iran was welcomed by his Israeli hosts.
The court rules that the authorities concerned shall complete the amendment of relevant laws in accordance with the ruling within two years.
"The provisions of Chapter 2 on Marriage of Part IV on Family of the Civil Code do not allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the committed objective of managing a life together".
"I'm thrilled", she said.
Both the ruling and major opposition parties support legalization of same-sex marriage, as do a majority of the public and President Tsai Ing-wen. It could still take up to two years before same-sex marriages are allowed to be performed.
Indonesia's government generally does not oppose gay lifestyles, but two men were publicly caned in ultra-conservative Aceh province, earlier this week; they were convicted after a vigilante group entered their residence and caught them in bed together.
Until 2001, China listed homosexuality as a mental disorder, but it is not illegal to be gay.
Now that the impetus for change has speeded up again, the debate between amending existing laws, which is what the gay rights movement is demanding, and the drawing up of new separate legislation specifically aimed at same-sex marriage, which has been condemned as leaving gays as second-class citizens, is also certain to arise again.