Taiwan will become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on 24 May
The government of Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, opened bookings for same-sex couples to get married on Tuesday (23 April) .
The city government is now taking on-site and telephone bookings for marriage registration, according to the city’s Department of Civil Affairs.
Staff at offices across the city are ready to update identification cards and household certificates on 24 May, according to Taiwan News.
Taiwan’s The Department of Home Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior last week said it would be ready to handle same-sex marriages by 24 May.
The department said the online registration system would be updated.
Law in limbo
Same-sex marriage will automatically become legal in Taiwan on 24 May according to a Constitutional Court ruling in 2017.
But, parliament plans to pass a bill to legislate the ruling ahead of the deadline.
Two bills–one affording more rights than the other–are currently in parliament.
According to a government statement in December last year, almost 4,000 same-sex couples had registered to marry.
The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) has also organized a massive wedding banquet outside the Presidential Office on 25 May.
Equal Marriage Taiwan, meanwhile, has begun collecting well wishes for same-sex newlyweds from the public, celebrities, and lawmakers.
‘We are looking forward to seeing the first same-sex marriage in Asia’ said Equal Marriage Taiwan’s Benson Lee.
‘And show to the world that Taiwan has our proudly own democratic constitution and diversity values in Asia’.
Taiwan’s long road to same-sex marriage
In February, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to pass draft a same-sex marriage bill.
But as the details emerged, the government, lawmakers, and activists admitted it fell short of true marriage equality.
The compromise bill comes after a devastating referendum loss in November 2018. Taiwan voters opted for a separate law to legalize same-sex unions rather than to change the Civil Code.
In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. It gave a two-year deadline to legislate.
But, following the referendum, conservative groups have been lobbying lawmakers to enact a ‘cohabitation’ or ‘partnership’ law to afford same-sex couples similar rights as marriage.
Taiwan’s opposition party also introduced a same-sex union bill to parliament. LGBTI rights groups and families denounced it as ‘homophobic’.
by Rik Glauert
Source – Gay Star News