LGBTQ RIGHTS/Japanese-Taiwanese gay couple register marriage in Taiwan

09/17/2022 04:46 PM
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Lu Yin-jen (right) and his Japanese partner Eizaburo Ariyoshi. Photo courtesy of the TAPCPR
Lu Yin-jen (right) and his Japanese partner Eizaburo Ariyoshi. Photo courtesy of the TAPCPR

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) A cross-national same-sex couple on Friday successfully registered their marriage at a household registration office in Taipei, weeks after they won a lawsuit against Taiwanese authorities that had rejected their previous application, according to an LGBTQ rights group.

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) said in a press release on Friday that Taiwanese national Lu Yin-jen and his Japanese partner Eizaburo Ariyoshi had their marriage officially registered in Taipei earlier that day.

The couple undertook the registration in the company of other cross-national same-sex couples and TAPCPR members. Lu's father watched the process virtually through live-streaming, the group said.

Lu and Ariyoshi are the third cross-national same-sex couple in which one partner is from a country or region where gay marriage is illegal to have registered their marriage in Taiwan after winning their lawsuit against the government with the pro bono legal service offered by TAPCPR.

Even though Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, over the past three years, household registration offices across the country have continued to reject same-sex unions where one partner is from a jurisdiction that outlaws gay marriage based on a directive issued by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

The MOI, which governs matrimonial affairs, cited Article 46 of the Act Governing the Choice of Law in Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements, which stipulates that the formation of a marriage is governed by the national law of each party's home country.

In December 2021, Lu and Ariyoshi brought their case to the court after they failed to have their marriage registered in Taiwan in two previous attempts.

On July 21, the Taipei High Administrative Court ruled that the couple should not have been prevented from registering their same-sex marriage at the household registration office.

According to TAPCPR, the court based its judgement on Article 8 of the same act used by the MOI which states that if the application of the law of a foreign state "leads to a violation of the public order or boni mores of the Republic of China," that foreign law should not be applied.

In Friday's press release, TAPCPR Secretary-General Chien Chih-chieh (簡至潔) called on the MOI to stop hindering couples like Lu and Ariyoshi from registering their marriage in Taiwan by revoking its directive.

While Taiwan's court has ruled in favor of a total of four cross-national same-sex couples involving partners from Malaysia, Macao, Singapore and Japan since March 2021, more than 400 couples are still prohibited from officially tying the knot in Taiwan because of the MOI rule, including those who have already had their marriage registered in a third country, according to TAPCPR.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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