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Chiayi to register gay couples

Chiayi to register gay couples

Chiayi City.

Chiayi city in Taiwan will start registering gay couples next month, the Liberty Times reported.

Mayor Twu Shiing-jer said Tuesday (23 February) that household registration offices in the east and west districts would accept applications from 1 March.

Chiayi joins six other cities, including Taipei and Kaohsiung, that already have such measures.

However, because Chiayi was later to catch up and there are more restrictions, gay residents doubt whether there will be many registrations.

For example, unlike Tainan, gay couples in Chiayi will not be able to list their relationships on their household certificates, and both partners must be residents of the city.

Twu said registration was just the first step and he will next listen to opinions on both side of the debate to come up with a ‘complete package solution.’

He added that in medical emergencies, registered partners can sign surgery consent forms.

Taiwan does not recognize gay marriage. A gay marriage bill did pass its first reading in parliament in 2013, but has since been stalled by a small but vocal Christian minority.

However, LGBTI activists hope the island’s first female president Tsai Ing-wen, who was voted in earlier this month, will push the reform through during her term in office.