Agence France-Presse
December 20, 2012

A Taiwanese court on Thursday shrank away from ruling on a gay couple's wish to have their marriage registered, saying it would pass on the controversial case to the island's top judicial body. The case has been widely described as a potential "milestone" for gay rights because it could lead to Asia's first legal same-sex marriage. "The court is preparing to ask the Grand Justices to make further explanations on the case," an official at the Taipei High Administrative Court said. The court will meet once more on January 15 to finalise the decision to pass on the case to the Grand Justices, which are generally considered the highest level in Taiwan's complex legal system, standing above even the Supreme Court. Chen Ching-hsueh and his partner Kao Chih-wei earlier this year filed a complaint with the administrative court against a local household registration agency which turned them away when they tried to register their marriage.