Taiwan could soon become the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage, pending the outcome of a historic court case this Wednesday afternoon.
A panel of 14 judges have been given the task of deciding whether a line in Taiwan’s Civil Code—that rules marriage is between a man and a woman—is actually unconstitutional.
LGBT+ activists are hopeful that the court will rule in their favour as the Taiwan constitution guarantees “equality and freedom of marriage”.
Chi Chia-wei has been campaigning for marriage equality for 30 years—and told AFP that he is “100 per cent confident” of a positive outcome for Taiwan’s gay community.
Public opinion has been sharply divided on the issue—with large protests against same-sex marriage taking place— as well as pro-gay rallies—in the lead up to the decision.
At least 10 of the 14 judges must rule in favour of same-sex marriage in order for it to be legalised, AFP reports.
The bill was drafted by Yu Mei-nu from Democratic Progressive Party who says that support from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen could be crucial in passing the law.
“If the grand justices make a decision that is not very clear, and it depends on a legislative yuan [parliament] vote, then it will be difficult. I think most legislators will abstain,” she told the Guardian.
“We want her (Tsai) to be braver. If she can come out and say ‘yes I support it’ then it will be passed.”
Some supporters of the bill say they are disappointed that the president has not taken a clear stance on marriage equality.
“It’s a little bit depressing for us,” student Vic Chiang told the Guardian.
“Before the election, she was really pro-gay rights. But now she has kind of disappeared."
The decision will be posted online in both Chinese and English on Wednesday at 4pm Taipei time.