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Taiwanese, English men separated in age by 51 years to wed

2019/02/15 20:07:11

Image taken from Adam Hsu's Facebook page

Taipei, Feb. 15 (CNA) A 24-year-old Taiwanese man and a 75-year-old English man will tie the knot Saturday at the train station in Miaoli, a relatively conservative county in western Taiwan.

Chao Shou-chuan (趙守泉) said their marriage might be viewed as strange by some people in Taiwan, but he felt the blessings of loved ones were all that mattered to him and saw himself as fortunate to have his family behind him.

Chao's family has not only not opposed the union but offered their help for his big day, he said.

His father's support was especially meaningful, Chao said, because he told his son: "You're the ones living your lives. Don't worry about what others think."

Chao met his partner, identified only by his first name Andy, three years ago when the Taiwanese was traveling in the United Kingdom while a sophomore in college.

After dating for about two and a half years, the two decided to get married, though the ceremony they will hold Saturday will be purely ceremonial because gay marriage has yet to be formally legalized in Taiwan.

Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in 2017 that the Civil Code's lack of provisions authorizing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and ordered the situation to be remedied by May 2019.

The process was complicated, however, by referendums in November 2018 in which voters in Taiwan rejected overwhelmingly to overturn the Civil Code's definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman and to change the code to allow same-sex marriage.

The couple plans to get around the debate by registering their marriage in England, where they plan to live in the future.

Chao hopes to register the union before October, when he begins graduate school.

For now, however, Chao has been focused on preparations for Saturday's celebration, and he thanked renowned music producer Adam Hsu (許常德) for helping arrange the ceremony and the shooting of wedding photos, and Andy's family for flying to Taiwan to attend the wedding.

(By Kuan Jui-pin and Chung Yu-chen)