Taiwan approves same-sex marriage
TAIPEI (AFP) – Taiwan’s top court ruled in favour of gay marriage yesterday, a landmark decision that paves the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex unions. Crowds of supporters cheered, hugged and wept as the court said current laws preventing the practice “violated” the constitution’s guarantees of freedom of marriage and equality. It gave the government two years to implement the ruling. The constitutional court said if parliament does not make the change within two years, same-sex couples could register to marry regardless, based on its interpretation.
Recognition for first Australians
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Aboriginal Australian leaders are meeting at the sacred landmark of Uluru to decide how the country’s first inhabitants, who date back about 50,000 years before British colonisers arrived, should be recognised in the constitution for the first time. There are about 700,000 Aborigines in a population of 23 million. This week’s conference comes before an anticipated national referendum on recognition. If successful, it would bring Australia into line with Canada, New Zealand and the United States as formally recognising their indigenous populations.
Pope and Trump have first meeting
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged US President Donald Trump to be a peacemaker at their highly anticipated first meeting yesterday, and Mr Trump promised he would not forget the pontiff’s message. The two talked privately for about 30 minutes with translators. A Vatican statement said the meeting was “cordial” and that the Vatican hoped there could be “serene collaboration” between the US government and the American Catholic Church, including “assistance to immigrants”. The US Catholic Church opposes cuts for cities that give sanctuary to illegal immigrants.