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First Same-Sex Marriage Law for Taiwan


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/05/17

According to the South China Morning Post, there was a landmark decision on Friday regarding the equality of same-sex couples within Taiwan, which is a first for the Asian region, apparently.

On the next Friday, gay couples in Taiwan can legalize their marriages within government agencies. It has been hailed by Bruce Chu who campaigned for the passage of the bill as a historic moment and, indeed, a victory for Taiwan.

As the legislature in Taiwan voted in favour of the bill, there was “thunderous applause from some 40,000 supporters.” This, in essence, became an important moment for the legality of same-sex unions as a legal entity and the equality of homosexuals as individuals (and as a category) in Taiwan and, thus, in Asia.

It’s historic and exciting for those interested in equality and human rights. The chief coordinator for Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, views the legislation as imperfect but sufficient because this does not meet most of the needs of the same-sex couples.

Lu stated, “Taiwan is moving in line with the world’s trend as it echoes the universal call for rights equality… I believe the disputes over same-sex marriage will soon come to an end. People will find that the day is still bright and the Earth still moves after same-sex people start registering for marriage.”

Most of the rights in Taiwan granted to heterosexual unions in Taiwan will be provided to the homosexual or gay couples within the civil code of the country. In fact, one of the partners in the union can adopt a child who is a blood relative.

The reportage further stated, “In addition, the authorities will recognize marriage between a Taiwanese citizen and a foreign national if the home country of the foreign national has also legalized same-sex partnerships.”

This is in line with some recent changes to the context of Taiwan and marriage since a 2017 constitutional court ruling that stated the laws of the island denying the right for same-sex couples to marry is a violation of the constitution of the island. Some of the areas in discrimination for same-sex couples include the inability to file joint income tax declaration or the inability to give consent for any medical care for their intimate partner.

One legislator from the Democratic Progressive Party, Hsiao Bi-khim, stated, “They don’t need to worry about that any more…After today, there is no need for them to face discriminatory treatment from others.”

President Tsai Ing-wen said that this move shows “kindness and conscience” in Taiwan. Ing-wen stated, “I congratulate our gay friends for being able to win society’s blessing, and I also want to say thanks to those who have different beliefs.”

According to the reportage, the move is disliked by both conservative and Christian groups while also being a fulfilled campaign promise of Ing-wen.

“Opponents of the measure staged protests, some of which ended in violence, and threatened to withdraw support from legislators who back the legislation,” the article stated, “Opposition Kuomintang legislator Lai Shyh-bao and DPP legislator Lin Tai-hua tabled two other versions of the bill, both of which watered down protections for same-sex couples.”

The other alternative propositions failed in a second reading.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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