Three gay couples to take part in military joint weddings
Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) Three gay couples will be wed at the military's annual joint wedding ceremonies to be held later this year, a military source said Monday, four months after same-sex marriage was made legal in the nation.
Taiwan made history as the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on May 17, when the country's legislature cleared a bill that gives gay couples the right to get married. The bill took effect May 24 after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) signed it into law.
Because of the bill, the military began to accept homosexual couples' applications to join the military's annual joint weddings earlier this year, according to a military source.
At least one of the couple has to be an active serviceman or woman to be qualified to apply to take part in military weddings, according to the rules.
The source told CNA that so far, two homosexual couples had applied to participate in a Navy joint wedding ceremony, while another gay couple applied to take part in an Air Force joint wedding ceremony, before the application deadlines ended late last month.
The Air Force, Army and Navy's respective joint wedding ceremonies will be held Oct. 26 at Pingtung air base, Nov. 15 at a Taoyuan military base and Nov. 15 at Kaohsiung's Zuoying (左營) naval base.
Three of the six who will be attending the ceremonies are active servicemen and women, the source said, adding that they will be wearing military uniforms like their heterosexual counterparts who take part in such weddings.
The source also said all the gay and lesbian married couples in the military will enjoy the same benefits enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts, including subsidies for medical care for their families, education and preferential electricity and water bills.
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