Landmark Gay Marriage Ruling; Case Made in Washington for Missing Taiwanese

The crowd cheers as the Constitutional Court says banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Photo Credit: The News Lens/Olivia Yang

Taiwan Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

In a landmark ruling that paves the way for Taiwan to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions, a top Taiwan court on May 24 ruled in favor of gay marriage.

The country’s Constitutional Court said Taiwan’s Civil Code, which currently says an agreement to marry could only be made between a man and a woman, “violated” the constitution’s guarantees of freedom of marriage and people’s equality, AFP reported.

The court, also known as the Council of Grand Justices, gave Taiwan’s government two years to implement the ruling and it said that if the Legislative Yuan does not make the change within two years, same-sex couples could register to marry regardless.

The decision followed decades of protest, activism and legal battles by Taiwan civil society.

The story made headlines around the world.

US Lawmakers Meet Wife of Detained Taiwanese Human Rights Activist

The name of detained human rights activist Lee Ming-che might be put on a human rights “watch list” to be presented during a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year, Taipei Times reported.

Lee, 42, has not been heard from after flying from Taipei to Macau and into Guangdong on March 19. China, which has confirmed he was detained by a branch of the state security police for “involvement in a threat to national security,” has not detailed where he is or the charges he faces.

Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu, was in Washington D.C. last week and appeared before a U.S. House of Representatives committee hearing to lobby lawmakers to press China for her husband’s release.

According to the Taipei Times report, Congress will add Lee Ming-che’s name to the list of human rights cases to be presented by Trump to Xi during a planned meeting in China.