Taiwan made history on May 24, 2017, after Taipei's court ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriages, making way for it to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions.
Justices of the Taiwanese Constitutional Court ruled same-sex marriage to be an "immutable characteristic that is resistant to change," meaning that the government recognizes that being LGBTQ is not a choice, but rather an inherent part of who a person is.
A press release following the decision states that it is now unconstitutional to "disallow two persons of the same sex to marry, for the sake of safeguarding basic ethical orders."
This ruling not only brings massive change for Taiwan and sets precedent for other parts of Asia, but also is a huge victory for the Taiwanese LGBTQ community at large, who have been faced with severe oppression before the ruling. Though Taiwan is known to be more liberal than its neighbors (and even hosts one of the biggest pride parades in the area), it remained split on this decision for a number of years.
Taiwanese legislature will be given two years to amend pre-existing laws that prohibit same-sex marriage, as well as the opportunity to pass new ones. While it remains unclear what exactly the amendments will be, BBC reports that "same-sex couples could register to marry based on its ruling."
The historic news was received with great praise in Taiwan, as thousands gathered to celebrate in the streets. One step closer towards equality for all.