Same-sex marriage in Taiwan

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Legal recognition of
same-sex relationships
Previously performed but not invalidated
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  2. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage

*Not yet in effect

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Same-sex marriage in Taiwan has been discussed since 2000s. Taiwan does not have any recognition of same-sex unions.


One of four newly wedded couples at a public wedding at Taiwan Pride 2006.

In August 2012, two women participated in what the media called Taiwan's first same-sex marriage ceremony.[1]

The Ministry of Justice's Department of Legal Affairs commissioned a study on legal recognitions of same-sex unions in Canada, Germany and France in 2012, but after pressure from critics, commissioned a further study for 2013 on the state of same-sex relationships in Asian countries for comparison.[2]

Legislative efforts and party support[edit]

In 2003, the executive branch of the Taiwan government (Executive Yuan) proposed legislation granting marriages to same-sex couples under the Human Rights Basic Law; but it could not pass the law and rejected the bill because of the oppose of legislators in 2006.

President Ma Ying-jeou, Chairman of the governing Kuomintang (KMT), respected LGBT rights but said public support was needed before the government could approve the law, thus it has been stalled since.[3]

Su Tseng-chang, Chairman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has expressed support for same-sex marriage.[4] DPP spilt into this issues, some legislators support same-sex marriage, while others oppose it.

On 25 October 2013, a petition-initiated bill to revise the Civil Code to allow for same-sex couples to be eligible for marriage was introduced by 23 lawmakers from the DPP in the Legislative Yuan. It was immediately referred to the Yuan's Judicial Committee for review and possible first reading.[5]

Judicial case[edit]

In March 2012, a gay couple Ching-Hsueh Chen (Nelson) 陳敬學 and Chih-Wei Kao (Johnson)高治瑋 applied to Taipei High Administrative Court to have their marriage recognized.[6] The first hearing took place on April 10, 2012. The couple was accompanied by their mothers and received the personal blessings from the judges for their love, although the judges said that wouldn't have any repercussions in their final ruling. The next hearing was set to take place a month later,[7] and the court was due to hand down a decision on December 20.[8] Instead, the court reneged on a ruling, opting to send the case to the Council of Grand Justices in the Judicial Yuan for a constitutional interpretation.[9] The case was then voluntarily withdrawn by the couple due to the hesitancy of the judiciary in taking on the case.

Polls and public support and controversy[edit]

A poll of 6,439 Taiwanese adults released in April 2006 by the National Union of Taiwan Women's Association/Constitutional Reform Alliance concluded that 75% believe homosexual relations are acceptable, while 25% thought they were unacceptable.[10]

A poll released in August 2013 shows that 53% of Taiwanese support same-sex marriage, with 37% opposed. Among people aged between 20 and 29, support was at 78%. The main source of opposition was in the Taiwanese Christian community - only 25% of Christians supported same-sex marriage.[11]

Other polls suggest Taiwanese people are far more divided over same-sex marriage legalisation, with a November 2013 poll of 1,377 adults commissioned by cable news channel TVBS indicating the 45% oppose same-sex unions, while only 40% are in favour.[12]

When a religious and conservative coalition opposed to same-sex marriage launched a petition for public support of their position, a staff editorial from the English-language China Post questioned the logic of the opponents' arguments and endorsed the legalization of same-sex marriage as "a huge step forward in the fight for universal equality akin to ending apartheid.[13] " The Taipei Times, similarly, questioned the logic and arguments of the anti-gay opposition.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Two Buddhist brides wed in Taiwan". 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  2. ^ Christie Chen (2012-12-15). "Ministry to commission further study on same-sex marriages". Focus Taiwan News Channel. 
  3. ^ Taiwan to stage first same-sex buddhist wedding
  4. ^ Anna Leach (2012-10-31). "A progressive history of gay rights in Taiwan". Gay Star News. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  5. ^ Dennis Engbarth, Inter Press Service (Oct 31, 2013). "Taiwan lawmakers push marriage equality bill". Asia Times. 
  6. ^ "Gay Taiwanese couple make bid to be registered as same-sex household in landmark hearing". 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  7. ^ 'Blessed' gay men fight for marriage in court
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ Christie Chen, Huang Yi-han and Alex Jiang (2012-12-20). "Gay man vows not to give up fight for same-sex marriage rights (update)". Focus Taiwan News Channel. 
  10. ^ Taiwan Thinks Adultery Should Remain a Crime, Angus Reid Global Monitor, May 18, 2006
  11. ^ Over half of Taiwanese support gay marriage: Survey
  12. ^ Opposing rallies for and against homosexual marriage take to the streets of Taiwan, with parliament split over legislation
  13. ^ The China Post news staff (September 21, 2013). "Same-sex marriage wouldn't bring about end of the world". The China Post. 
  14. ^ Staff Editorial (Sep 21, 2013). "EDITORIAL: Apocalyptic same-sex claptrap". Taipei Times.