Legalization of Same Sex Marriage

I want to get married; Human Rights in Taiwan, First in Asia!

Event description

The issue of same-sex marriage and the corresponding social movement began in the late 1980s. At that time, members of the LGBTQ+ community petitioned and filed lawsuits to advocate for their rights. However, in 2000, the constitutional challenge submitted by Chi Chia-wei was rejected. Starting in 2012, organizations such as the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights actively promoted the draft bill for diverse family formations, seeking legal reforms to protect same-sex marriage. Different groups held diverse opinions on this matter.

The debate on same-sex marriage in Taiwanese society persisted over the years, and it has been a prominent demand in the annual LGBTQ+ Pride Parade held around late October. In 2016, the passing of French professor Jacques Picoux drew significant attention to the issue of marriage equality in Taiwan. This event led to the proposal of the amendment to the Civil Code for marriage equality. The "Marriage Equality Coalition", a coalition formed by numerous organizations, organized the "Stand Together for Equality, Nationwide Support for LGBTQ+" concert on Ketagalan Boulevard, attracting nearly 300,000 participants— the largest gathering in the history of Taiwan's LGBTQ+ movement.

In 2015, Chi Chia-wei once again submitted a constitutional challenge, and simultaneously, the Taipei City Government's Department of Civil Affairs which began allowing same-sex partnership registrations also submitted a constitutional challenge to examine whether the current Civil Code violated constitutional guarantees of freedom and equality.

In 2017, the Judicial Yuan announced Constitutional Interpretation No.748, declaring that the existing Civil Code did not safeguard the freedom to marry and equality rights of same-sex couples, deeming it unconstitutional and setting a two-year deadline for legal amendments.

In 2018, both proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage issue initiated referendums, leading to intense political mobilization. Ultimately, the proposal stating "Same-sex marriage should not be included in the Civil Code and must be addressed by separate legislation" emerged victorious. Following the defeat in the referendum and societal debates, the Legislative Yuan eventually passed the “Implementation Act for Constitutional Interpretation No. 748” in 2019, allowing same-sex couples to marry in Taiwan.

As the first anniversary of the official implementation of same-sex marriage approaches, according to statistics from the Ministry of the Interior as of May 22, 2020, a total of 4,021 same-sex couples had completed marriage registrations nationwide. The "Marriage Equality Coalition" renamed itself as the "Rainbow Equality Coalition" after achieving its phased goals.


In 2017, the Taiwanese Judicial Yuan declared that the existing Civil Code failed to safeguard the freedom and equality rights of same-sex couples, deeming it unconstitutional. The Judicial Yuan mandated a legislative amendment within two years, paving the way for Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to pass legislation recognizing same-sex marriage.

In 2018, a nationwide referendum passed, confirming that the legalization of same-sex marriage would be achieved through legislative means outside the amendment of the Civil Code. In 2019, the Executive Yuan, in response to the constitutional interpretation and the referendum results, proposed a related legal draft named the "Implementation Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748." The draft stipulated that same-sex partners aged 18 and above could legally marry and enjoy inheritance and adoption rights.

In May of the same year, the bill passed its third reading in the legislature and was officially promulgated by the president. On May 24, it came into effect, making the Republic of China (Taiwan) the first country in Asia and the 27th in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Participating Organizations

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