Taiwanese-British gay couple legally seal their union

02/14/2020 09:30 PM

Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) A Taiwanese-British gay couple has finally become legal partners, one year after holding a wedding ceremony in Taiwan that received blessings from across the country, despite widespread curiosity about the huge age gap between them.

25-year-old Chao Shou-chuan (趙守泉) and Andrew Goodier, 76, from the English city of Leicester, had their union legally recognized following the Feb. 12 registration of their union with the Miaoli City Household Registration Office.

"We finally got married, although it is belated," Chao said in a Facebook post that day. "I've finished my days as a single guy, and the other Mr. Chao (Goodier) must behave carefully from now on."

"Andy was also very happy," Chao said. "He thinks the registration is good for both of us and also for other same-sex couples in this country."

"It is really wonderful to see your spouse's name written on the back of your ID card," he said. "Taiwan is a good country."

Chao and Goodier tied the knot at the Miaoli Railway Museum on Feb. 16 last year, drawing over 500 well-wishers from across Taiwan who wanted to show their support for same-sex unions, which had not yet been legalized in the country at the time.

The event gave rise to great curiosity in Taiwanese society, due mainly to their different nationalities and the 51-year age difference between them.

According to Chao, they originally planned to register their union on May 17 last year, the day when the legislation allowing gay marriages cleared the Legislative Yuan, and Goodier returned to Britain in February of that year to apply for a certificate of non-impediment to prove that he was not already married.

However, they postponed their marriage registration until after Taiwan had actually promulgated the gay marriage legislation, he explained.

Chao and Goodier met when Chao was traveling in the United Kingdom four years ago as a sophomore college student, while Goodier was a retired engineer.

The couple decided to get married after dating for about two-and-a-half years, with the full support of Chao's father.

The happy pair are planning to spend two days in Yilan to celebrate their registration as an officially recognized couple and will fly to Britain to register their union as legal partners there later this year.

(By Flor Wang and Kuan Jui-ping)

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