As part of a campaign seeking same-sex marriage to be legalized in Taiwan, 28 same-sex couples – accompanied by activists from the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) – walked into Zhongzheng District Household Registration Office in Taipei on Friday and attempted to register their unions.
Taiwan’s Civil Code stipulates that a marriage must be a union between a man and a woman.
The Taipei Times reported that the clerks ‘took the applications with a friendly attitude‘ and apologized that the ‘computer system would not allow same-sex couples to make marriage registrations.’
‘The computer system was designed according to the Civil Code, which stipulates that a legal marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman,’ office director Lin Tsung-ming was quoted as saying. ‘Therefore, the system would automatically reject the registration when the clerks keyed in their national ID numbers.’
He further added that while he respects the TAPCPR’s freedom of expression, he appealed to the activists to not ’cause trouble for other people going about their business here.
TAPCPR secretary-general Chien Chih-chieh said in a press statement, ‘Registering one’s marriage is a legal act. Homosexuals are citizens who should be able to exercise this legal right to register their marriages at their local Household Registration Office. Furthermore, the longer Taiwan does not recognise Equal Marriage, the more the gay and lesbian population will have to mobilize all their personal resources to fight to exercise their rights, and there is no guarantee they will be able to have their families protected by law.
‘We hope those citizens who are inconvenienced today will spare a thought for those who have been inconvenienced by the law of this country for many years.’
Three same-sex couples will file an administrative petition against the authorities’ decision to refuse to recognize their marriages.
‘The ultimate goal of the legal proceedings is for the Justices of the Constitutional Court to rule whether such discrimination based on sexual orientation is indeed against the Constitution and to provide us with an explanation,’ the statement added.