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More cities and counties in Taiwan introduce gay partnership registry

2017/06/07 17:38:07

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) Six more cities and counties in Taiwan have recently decided to allow same-sex partnership registration in the wake of a ruling by the Constitutional Court in favor of gay marriage on May 24, a Cabinet official said Wednesday.

Hsinchu City, Miaoli County, Nantou County, Pingtung County, Kinmen County and Lienchiang County recently agreed to allow gay residents to list their partners in city household registration records, bringing to 17 the number of cities and counties in Taiwan that register such partnerships, said Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), secretary-general of the Executive Yuan.

Chen made the remarks after attending a cross-agency meeting earlier in the day to discuss issues related to the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The meeting came in response to a ruling by the Constitutional Court that the failure of the Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The court has asked the government to amend relevant laws within two years to guarantee the marriage rights of gay couples.

It was confirmed at the meeting that Taiwan will recognize both heterosexual and same-sex marriage and that they will be given equal rights, Chen said.

Meanwhile, Chen said that as of the end of May, 11 cities and counties, including Taipei and Kaohsiung, had introduced same-sex partnership registration.

The Ministry of the Interior sent official letters on May 26 to local governments that had not introduced such registration asking them to do so, Chen said.

As of June 6, six more cities and counties have complied, she said.

Only five cities and counties have yet to introduce same-sex partnership registration -- Keelung City, Hualien, Taitung, Yunlin and Penghu counties, Chen said.

If the remaining local governments decline to allow the registration of same-sex partnerships, the interior ministry will negotiate with neighboring local governments that have same-sex partnership registry and ask them to accept the registration of gay people from non-complying areas, Chen said.

The designation of partners in household records does not give gay couples the same rights as married heterosexual couples, but it does afford registered gay couples the right to sign medical contracts for each other, something they had previously not been legally able to do.

(By Yuris Ku and Elaine Hou)
ENDITEM/AW