LGBT rights

Taiwan to become first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage after top court’s landmark ruling

The bench said disallowing such a union went against the constitutional provisions of freedom of marriage and equality.

Taiwan’s top court on Wednesday ruled in favour of making same-sex marriage legal in the country, saying the current laws violate its citizens’ constitutional rights to freedom of marriage and equality. The Taiwanese Parliament has been given two years to change the provisions of its civil code that say a marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Once the government amends the law or brings in new ones, Taiwan will become the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. If the government does not change the rules, same-sex couples can marry anyway after two years, the court ruled. The bench said the new law would bring about social stability and protect the dignity of Taiwan’s citizens.

Taiwan has been at the forefront of LGBTQ rights movements in the region. President Tsai Ing-Wen has spoken in favour of same-sex marriage several times since she was elected in January 2016. However, conservative groups have opposed any changes to the law, staging massive protests against such a move.

Countries in Asia have lagged behind several others when it comes to ensuring equal rights for LGBTQ citizens. Many face open persecution and law enforcement for their sexuality alone with marital rights remaining a distant reality. Indian law, too, makes it possible for authorities to act against homosexuality. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” punishable even if it is between two consenting adults – a law that particularly affects members of the LGBTQ community. The Supreme Court is currently considering a petition to strike down Section 377.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.