After a historic legal victory, a gay couple from Taiwan and Macau married.
After winning a groundbreaking legal challenge, a Taiwanese-Macanese homosexual couple married in Taipei on Friday, calling for the island’s laws to be changed to allow same-sex partnerships with all foreigners.
Taiwan is at the forefront of Asia’s booming LGBTQ rights movement, having become the first country in the region to legalize marriage equality in 2019 – but same-sex couples still face obstacles.
Taiwanese people, for example, can marry foreigners of the same sex, but only if they come from countries where marriage equality is also respected.
Ting Tse-yen and his Macau partner Leong Chin-fai successfully challenged the limitation in court earlier this year, and were granted permission to marry on Friday.
However, the decision only applies to them; other same-sex couples who want to marry will have to go through the same legal process.
“This is a first step in the right direction. Other overseas couples are still unable to marry, and we demand complete recognition,” Ting, 29, said.
“We hope that by registering today, the government will see that marriage equality is still a long way off,” said Leong, 33.
The pair were able to marry after a court in May ordered a government office to record a same-sex marriage with a foreigner from a country where such unions are not recognized, overriding the office’s previous refusal to register their marriage in 2019.
Ting stated after the registration, exhibiting his brand new ID card with his spouse’s name on it, “We’ve waited two years and finally we can get married.”
The couple has co-founded a non-profit organization to assist more than 100 Taiwanese who have partners from countries where same-sex marriage is illegal, such as China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“Marriage is a basic human right, and it is unthinkable that someone be treated differently because their partner is from a different country,” said the couple’s lawyer, Victoria Hsu.
“Will any heterosexual citizens accept the fact that they can marry an American but not a Japanese?”
Hsu’s advocacy group, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, has requested that the situation be investigated by the top government watchdog, Control Yuan, she added.
Taiwan has a vibrant LGBTQ community, with 200,000 people attending a Taipei pride march in 2019 to commemorate the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Since then, about 6,000 same-sex couples have married.
After Taiwan’s highest court declared that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was discriminatory and unconstitutional, the law was enacted.
However, same-sex marriage has proven to be extremely contentious. Brief News from Washington Newsday.
Published:Aug 13, 2021 at 12:00 PM