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3,951 same-sex couples registered as partners in Taiwan

2018/12/09 12:39:25

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) A total of 3,951 same-sex couples have registered as partners over the past three years since same-sex partnership recording began in Taiwan in 2015, with the largest numbers recorded in Taipei, New Taipei and Taichung, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior.

Since Kaohsiung became the first city in Taiwan to allow same-sex couples to register their partnerships at household registration offices on May 20, 2015, 18 of the country's 22 cities and counties have introduced a partnership registration scheme for such couples and have also begun to accept applications from other localities.

This year as of November, 1,061 same-sex couples had registered their partnerships nationwide, while 1,201 registered in 2017, and 1,417 in 2016 and 2015, bringing the total cumulative number to 3,951.

Most of same-sex partnerships were registered in six special municipalities, with 818 registered in Taipei, 743 in New Taipei, 694 in Taichung, 442 in Taoyuan, 238 in Tainan and 173 in Kaohsiung.

Except for Matsu, all of the 18 cities and counties that offer sex-same partnership registration have recorded same-sex partnerships.

So far, only four cities and counties have yet to introduce same-sex partnership registration -- Hualien, Taitung, Yunlin and Penghu.

Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party who has been paying close attention to gay marriage issues said that whether same-sex couples are willing to register their partnerships are related to the rights granted by various local governments to registered same-sex couples.

Although many cities and counties allow same-sex couples to register as partners, such partnerships provide less rights than marriage, Yu said, adding that only through legalizing same-sex marriage will gay couples be given full rights.

Taiwan does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Taiwan's highest court ruled in May 2017 that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry and set a two-year deadline for legalization by May 2019.

However, in several referendums held alongside the local government elections on Nov. 24, Taiwanese voters rejected legalizing same-sex marriage, raising uncertainty about whether there will be full marriage equality in the country.

(By Liu Li-jung, Liu Kuan-ting and Evelyn Kao)
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