Court postpones verdict on same-sex marriages

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On 20th December, in light of the same-sex marriage case of Nelson Chen (陳敬學) and his companion, Kao Chih-wei (高治瑋), Taipei High Administrative Court announced its verdict. Approaching 10.30, the entire third court became mobbed with concerned supporters and media, awaiting the verdict. The judge delivered a brief and rather unintelligible verdict before retiring, leaving everyone asking, “What was the verdict?” After some inquiries it became clear that the presiding judge had ordered the case be postponed while the court sought a constitutional interpretation from the Council of Grand Justices. 

“Real love doesn’t change because of gender. If we could all work together to eliminate sexual inequality and discrimination, we wouldn’t be facing ‘the end of the world’, but rather the birth of mutual respect and happiness,” said Nelson Chen, before extending his appreciation to all those who have supported them along the way. Finally, he expressed his hopes that through the judicial process, gay and lesbian couples could enjoy civil marriages, allowing Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriages.

On hearing the verdict, representative of Nelson Chen in court He Zong-xun (何宗勳) - CEO of Promotion Alliance for a Just and Ecological Society (PAJES) - expressed his appreciation to friends and the media for all their concern. However, he regretted that the judge could not take the pioneering step required to return gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. He added that the verdict was unexpected, invalidating all the previous success and failure, but regardless of the judges ruling Nelson Chen has already done his best, and now could only wait for the results of the constitutional interpretation. Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy secretary-general Wu Shao-wen (吳紹文) criticized the court’s decision as conservative, and stated that we must actively push legislation. 

 

Defense lawyer Huang Guo-cheng (黃國城) said the verdict was unexpected, and that a constitutional interpretation would take some time, possibly from six months to a year. He added that even if Nelson Chen and his companion, Kao Chih-wei were registered as married, in the future they may still have to face many difficulties. For example, Taiwan's regulations regarding spouses’ rights and obligations are lengthy, and therefore merely permitting registration of marriage would not solve all the subsequent problems; in short only effective interpretation of the law by judges could ensure a problem-free future for same-sex marriages.

Court postpones verdict on same-sex marriages

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http://www.peopo.org/news/106891

【同志婚姻】宣判大逆轉:辯論、釋憲後再宣判!

台北高等行政法院在12.20日針對陳敬學、阿瑋夫夫同志婚姻進行宣判。十點半不到,整個第三法庭就擠滿關心支持者與媒體。宣判時刻,法官開口了,結果輕輕只有一句話,就宣佈退庭。場內議論紛紛,大家紛紛問,剛剛說那句話是?經過查證,才知道是合議庭審判長諭知,全案再開辯論,考慮聲請大法官釋憲。
當事人陳敬學事後發表聲明指出:真愛不分性別,如果大家都能致力於消解歧視姓之差別對待,明天就不會是世界末日,而是幸福重生,彼此尊重開始。他也感謝老天爺與關心此事件朋友。也希望大家能透過司法途徑努力,讓同志伴侶享有民法婚姻權利,讓台灣成為亞洲第一個同志婚姻合法化國家。

代表陳敬學出庭聆聽結果公義生態社會聯盟執行長何宗勳,在宣判結束後代表陳敬學感謝來前關心的朋友與媒體,但是但何宗勳表示,法官無法做出開創姓宣判,還給同志應有婚姻權,對此深表遺憾。何宗勳代陳敬學發言表示,由於判決結果出乎意料,原本成功與失敗聲明都無效。遺憾法院不能為同志婚姻向前跨一步,對陳敬學來說,不論法官裁准與否,他都已盡力,靜待釋憲結果。出席的同志家庭權益促進會秘書長吳紹文表示,拒絕司法抱殘守缺,未來將積極推動立法。

擔任義務辯護律師黃國城表示,判決結果不意外,釋憲還有漫長路要走,預計要半年至一年左右。黃國城說,陳敬學與高治瑋即使登記結婚,未來仍要面對許多困難。台灣關於配偶權利、義務的法規約有數百條,並不因為准許他們登記結婚而能解決後續的問題,若由大法官做出具效力的解釋,未嘗不是一件好事。

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Court postpones verdict on same-sex marriages

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