Taiwan’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, in a landmark decision that makes the island nation the first in Asia to recognize the equality of gay unions. In its decision, the court ruled the current civil code, which prevents legal same-sex marriages, was in violation of two points in the constitution. “The need, capability, willingness, and longing, in both physical and psychological senses, for creating such permanent unions of intimate and exclusive nature are equally essential to homosexuals and heterosexuals, given the importance of the freedom of marriage to the sound development of personality and safeguarding of human dignity,” according to the ruling. The court said officials who want to prevent the historic decision’s long-term effects must amend existing laws—or enact new ones—within two years. Otherwise, same-sex couples may have their marriages legally recognized. Most major opposition parties support the legalization of same-sex marriage, and the majority of the public does too, as well as Taiwan’s female leader, President Tsai Ing-wen.
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