Gay couple in Taiwan continue fight for marriage recognition

Lawyer says Taiwanese marriage law does not explicitly deny same-sex marriage

Gay couple in Taiwan continue fight for marriage recognition
02 August 2012

A gay couple in Taiwan who appeared in court in March to plea for legal recognition of their marriage have said they are fighting on, as their lawyer says they have a chance.

In April, Chen Ching-Hseuh (also known as Nelson Chen) and Kao Chih-Wei said that they were suspending their legal fight after concerns from relatives about inheritance entitlements.

But, according to Taipei Times, the couple are back fighting to be the first legally-recognized same-sex marriage in Taiwan.

‘We will fight to the end, because this is our legitimate right,’ Chen said.

The couple filed a lawsuit against the government last year after the Department of Household Registration refused to register the two men under the same household.

At an initial court hearing in March the judge said the couple’s attempted at registering their household contravened the legal definition of marriage.

Chen and Kao’s lawyer Liu Chi-wei will argue against this at the second hearing expected to be within the next month.

‘There are no clear clauses in Taiwan’s Constitution or in the legal code that say explicitly that same-sex couples are prohibited from being legally married,’ Liu said to Taipei Times.

In 2006 Chen and Kao were the second couple to have a public non-legally recognised marriage ceremony in Taiwan, after Taiwanese writer Hsu Yu-sheng and his American partner Gary Harriman held a wedding in 1996.

The couple’s mothers publicly displayed their support for their sons’ relationship outside court in April.

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