All Taiwan Municipalities To Recognize Same-Sex Relationships

All Taiwan Municipalities To Recognize Same-Sex Relationships
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像
Why you need to know

Taoyuan will join the other five special municipalities in recognizing household registrations of same-sex relationships starting from March 14. The decision marks the city government’s respect for gender equality, basic human rights and same-sex relationships. Even though the registration will not be legally binding, it can be presented by gay couples as proof of a close relationship when dealing with complex legal disputes.

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Translated and compiled by Bing-sheng Lee

All of Taiwan’s six special municipalities will now recognize household registrations of same-sex relationships starting from March 14.

Taipei, capital of Taiwan, and Kaohsiung first began recognizing household registrations of same-sex relationships last year. Taichung, New Taipei City and Tainan followed the suit this year and Taoyuan is the last major municipality to make the decision.

Tang Hui-chen, director of the Department of Civil Affairs at the Taoyuan City Government, says that based on gender equality, basic human rights and respect for same-sex relationships, the government has decided to allow gay couples to register as same-sex partners to protect their rights.

Tang adds that though Taiwan’s current civil law does not permit same-sex marriage, but out of respect for same-sex relationships, starting from March 14, the city government will order household registration offices to consider applications for registrations of same-sex relationships.

Similar to the rules adopted by Taipei and Kaohsiung, the household registration of same-sex couples is not legally binding, but the government will issue certificates of same-sex relationship to applicants.

The efforts made by local gay rights activists who held several LGBT pride parades have raised Taiwanese people’s awareness of homosexuals’ basic rights in recent years. The homosexual community hopes the government could revise the civil law to make same-sex relationships more legally effective, but before the law is amended, the registration of same-sex relationship is not allowed to be printed on personal identification cards or household registration documents.

Miao Bo-ya, spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party, says that despite household registration of same-sex relationship is not legally binding, gay couples can present it as proof of close relationship when dealing with complex legal disputes.

For example, even though the registration is not legally binding in terms of leaving an inheritance, it is more easily recognized by the medical care system. If a hospital cannot find the relatives of a patient to sign the consent for surgery, the same-sex partner of the patient can sign as a relative as long as the partner signs the document for access to his or her personal information.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
The News Lens
The News Lens
UDN
“Taipei to register gay relationships” (Taipei Times)

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