Fri, May 24, 2019 - Page 1 News List

‘Same-sex’ certificate criticized

‘STRANGE’:An academic who received a copy questioned whether the certificates for heterosexual couples would be labeled with ‘heterosexual marriage certificate’

By Lee Hsin-fang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A specimen copy of an updated marriage certificate, produced by the Ministry of the Interior and with the term “same-sex” removed, is pictured yesterday.

Photo: Chen Ching-min, Taipei Times

The Ministry of the Interior yesterday revised its same-sex marriage certificate after the initial version was criticized as discriminatory.

The Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748 (司法院釋字第748號解釋施行法) is to go into effect today and with it same-sex couples will be able to legally register their marriages.

However, the first version of the marriage certificate released by the Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday was titled “same-sex marriage certificate.”

Critics called the inclusion of term “same-sex” in the document discriminatory.

National Sun Yat-sen University sociology department chairman Wang Hong-zen (王宏仁) wrote on Facebook that a household registration office had mailed him a ministry version of the marriage certificate that emphasized the same-sex nature of the marriage.

Calling the language in the document “strange,” he questioned whether the marriage certificates of heterosexual couples would be labeled “heterosexual marriage certificate.”

When he called the ministry’s Department of Household Registration to protest, an official told him that the language in the document was ministry policy, he wrote.

The Executive Yuan yesterday morning reassured the public that the term “same-sex” would not appear on the marriage certificates of same-sex couples.

The “same-sex marriage certificate” was only a sample document previously used by the ministry, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said.

The ministry would be releasing an official version later yesterday without the term “same-sex,” she said.

The official version would not contain any language seen as discriminatory toward LGBT people, she added.

A marriage certificate made available for download on the ministry’s Web site yesterday afternoon on a page explaining regulations for same-sex marriage registration did not contain the term “same-sex marriage.”

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that he hopes all of the couples who have been waiting “all their lives” to become married will be able to do so from today.

Su asked government agencies to be prepared for same-sex marriage registrations and to provide the public with any information required.

He also instructed civil servants not to use any discriminatory language toward same-sex couples who visit household registration offices to register their marriages.

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