Lawmakers in Taiwan have approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a landmark decision that makes the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.
The Taiwanese Same-Sex Marriage Bill, which has been in dispute for a long time, passed the second reading in the Legislative Yuan today (May 17). Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party strongly supported the draft in the Legislative Yuan, while the opposition Kuomintang had a majority vote against it.
According to Taiwan law, the third reading must be carried out at 6:00 pm on the same day as the second reading. If there are no major irregularities such as unconstitutionality, the bill passed on the second reading will finally be approved.
The implementation of this law means that starting from May 24, Taiwanese same-sex couples who are 18 years of age or older can register to marry in accordance with the law. However, the issues of child adoption and multinational gay marriages, including whether gay people from Mainland, Hong Kong, would be able to get married in Taiwan, has not been fully adopted in this special law.
- Same-sex couples who are at least 18 years of age can register for marriage, and the parties to the marriage can adopt the biological child of the other party, using the "step-family adoption" rule of the civil law.
- Same-sex couples have legal inheritance rights and medical rights, but must also abide by the rights and obligations of a single spouse.
- Same-sex couples are also subject to marriage regulations including adultery and bigamy.
- Unable to adopt non-biological children.
- At present, (Taiwan) will only allow marriage with citizens of countries that have implemented marriage equality. Partners from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao also have not yet been included in the law.
According to outside analysis, the Tsai Ing-wen government has a high-profile request to promote the adoption of the same-sex marriage law, gambling her own political life as well as the party. Some commentators also believe that Tsai Ing-wen’s clean-up of the battlefield will quickly resolve her own and the party’s long-standing same-sex marriage bill, which will help her run for president in the next election.
The gay community called this a historic moment, in addition to being grateful to the Tsai's government, they also thanked every supporter who has participated in the gay movement for the last 30 years. However, there are still obvious differences of opinion between those who support and those who oppose marriage equality.