Same Sex Marriage Legalized in Taiwan

May 24, 2019

On May 17, 2019, Taiwan Legislature passed a separete law, apart from its Civil Code, to legalize same sex marriage, making the nation the first in Asia to allow it.  The original case derived from a rejected application with the Taipei City Government to register a "marriage" of the same sex.  The decision was later challenged by the applicant and submitted to the Constitutional Court, which determines the rejection was not consistent with the Constitutional Law of this country and prescribes a time limit of 2 years for the Legislature to amend the law where necessary in order to protect equal protection for both genders and the freedom of marriage.  According to the new law, the union of the two people of the same sex must be accompanied by a writing with two witnesses signing the form and must apply to register with competent authorities of the municipal government in charge of marriage registration.  A party to the marraige may also adopt the birth child of the other party.  Today marks the first day such a union may be registered as a lawful and valid marriage in Taiwan.