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Almost 2000 homosexual marriages in three months in Taiwan – but many divorces as well

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of 11 October 2019) From the entry into force of same-sex marriage in Taiwan on 24 May 2019 until the end of August 2019, around 1827 same-sex couples got married, and 34 have already divorced or are in the progress of divorcing. While male and female couples have about the same probability of divorce, twice as many lesbians as gays get married.

In three months, 1222 lesbian couples got married in Taiwan, but only 605 gay couples. The number of divorces is more or less the same for male and female couples (18 and 16 respectively), but the divorce rate is not comparable: 2.98% for male couples and 1.31% for female couples. Lesbians marry more often and divorce less often than gays.

Taipei at night

Taipei at night © Tom Ritson / Unsplash

As we have seen before, gay marriage in Taiwan is subject to several legal restrictions which distinguish it from straight marriage. One of these restrictions is the prohibition of binational gay marriage if the country of one of the future spouses has not yet legalized the gay marriage.

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) has decided to take legal action against this obvious discrimination. In particular, the LGBT interest group is questioning Article 46 of the Act on the Choice of Jurisdiction in Civil Matters for persons of foreign nationality. This article states that “marriage shall be governed by the national laws of each Party”. However, Article 8 of the same law states that the relevant legislation of the foreign country shall be deemed not applicable on Taiwanese soil if it “leads to a violation of public order or morality” in Taiwan.

TAPCPR’s appeal is first lodged with the Taipei Municipality, which on October 1st, 2019 rejected an application by a Taiwanese (Ting Tse-yen, 28 y.) to marry a citizen of Macao (Leong Chin Fei, 31 y.), where gay marriage is still illegal. According to TAPCPR, Article 46 is manifestly unconstitutional and local authorities may therefore ignore it. If this appeal fails, the LGBT activist group will turn to the Taipei Regional Court, or even to the Constitutional Court if necessary.

The plaintiffs hope that a judicial victory would set a precedent, as nearly 200 gay couples are more or less in the same situation as Tse-yen and Chin Fei. An interesting fact is that Chin Fei received a Taiwanese visa despite the lack of any official family connection with Tse-yen.

Frank-S / MensGo

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