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Taipei, Kaohsiung join hands on gay partnership registry

2015/12/28 22:07:59

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) Taipei and Kaohsiung, the two largest cities in Taiwan, have teamed up on the issue of same-sex partnership registration, agreeing to allow such partnerships registered in one city to be effective in the other beginning on Jan. 1.

As of Nov. 30, 44 same-sex couples had registered their partnerships in Taipei's household records since the city began allowing such registration in June 2015, Taipei's Department of Civil Affairs said Monday.

The collaboration will allow the two cities to share records, and if couples move their household registration to the other city, they will not have to re-register their partnership, the department said.

It will also allow same-sex couples to apply for and obtain official letters, as well as cancel their partnership registrations, in any of the household registration offices within the two cities, according to the department.

Taipei and Kaohsiung are joining hands "to give more same-sex couples spiritual comfort, and to ensure that the promises they made to each other regarding their lives can be carried out," the department said.

It said the collaboration aims to "implement gender diversity practices and promote the rights of same-sex couples."

On May 20, the southern city of Kaohsiung became the first in the country to allow its gay residents to list their partners in the city's household registration records. Taipei and Taichung followed suit on June 17 and Oct. 1, respectively.

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

Taiwan does not recognize same-sex marriage. A same-sex marriage bill has been stalled since it passed a first reading in the Legislature in 2013, mostly due to opposition from religious groups.

(By Christie Chen)