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Taiwan’s two largest cities team up on gay partnership registration

Taiwan’s two largest cities team up on gay partnership registration

Taiwan's Rainbow flag

Gay couples registered in Taipei and Kaohsiung will be automatically recognized in both cities from Friday (1 January).

Kaohsiung became the first city in Taiwan to allow gay residents to list their partners in household registration records in May, followed by Taipei in June. A third city, Taichung, did the same in October.

While registered couples are not given all the same rights as married couples, they can act as each other’s legal representatives. For example, giving consent for emergency surgery.

The information sharing agreement was made ‘to give more same-sex couples spiritual comfort, and to ensure that the promises they made to each other regarding their lives can be carried out,’ Taipei’s department of civil affairs said, adding that 44 couples in the city had registered.

It also said it would not rule extending the agreement to include Taichung in the future.

On Saturday, 2,000 people marched in Tainan Pride, calling for partnership registration in Taiwan’s fourth city.

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.