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Taiwanese drop gay marriage case

AFP-JIJI

A Taiwanese gay couple said Wednesday they have decided to withdraw a controversial case against the government for refusing to register their marriage.

Chen Ching-hsueh and his partner, Kao Chih-wei, filed a complaint with the Taipei Administrative Court in 2011 against a government agency that turned them away when they tried to register their marriage. Explaining their decision, Chen said he had “lost his faith in the judiciary” after the court failed to either make its own decision or to pass the case on to the Grand Justices, the island’s top judicial body.

“We want to maintain our dignity and this is our only choice. We may be small and unable to change the judicial system, but at least we can show courage by being ourselves,” Chen said. Earlier this month, Chen said he had received death threats and offensive comments on his Facebook page, which prompted him to consider withdrawing the case.

Rights groups downplayed the impact of the decision to abandon the case, which had been described as a potential milestone that could pave the way for Taiwan to become the first society in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.