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It’s time to start recognizing overseas same-sex marriage in Taiwan

It’s time to start recognizing overseas same-sex marriage in Taiwan

Two men celebrate the marriage equality win in Taipei. Photo: Instagram

A political leader in Taiwan said the island nation must giving official recognition and rights to same-sex couples married overseas.

As the country drags its heels on making marriage equality law, New Power Party caucus convener Hsu Yung-min called for recognition of overseas unions.

In May last year Taiwan became the first country in Asia to rule in favor of same-sex marriage. The Council of Grand Justices ruled that forbidding same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The Council ordered legislators to make same-sex marriage legal within two years.

But in the meantime Hsu wants Taiwanese nationals married overseas to be able to have their partner of the same-sex be able to apply for residency based on marriage.

Tawain’s Premier William Lai promised last month that the relevant laws would be enacted soon.

He said same-sex couples married abroad would simply need to notarize their marriage certificate at an embassy or representative office overseas. Then they would register their ‘partnership’ at a household registration office in Taiwan.

But Hsu has argued couples have been rejected from registering their partnership.

‘The government should be more responsible,’ Hsu told the Taipei Times.

‘Many people have moved back to Taiwan because it promised to legalize same-sex marriage, but now they might have to move back again. Does the government enjoy fooling people?’

‘Second class citizen’

Several married same-sex couples spoke to the Taipei Times and told them how difficult life was for their partners without residency.

They described how hard it was for their partner’s to set up their lives in Taiwan. They are unable to get work or even open a bank account.

Many had returned to Taiwan after the Council’s ruling hoping they could set up a life there.

Lu Hsin-shan married a South African woman three years ago. Lu said they had tried multiple time to get their marriage recognized but the government kept refusing to.

‘I want my wife to have a complete life in Taiwan, rather than living like a second-class citizen,’ she said.