Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Candidate registers same-sex partnership in Taipei

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Gay rights activisits hold signs demanding the legalization of gay marriage as Social Democratic Party (SDP) legislative candidate Lu Hsin-chieh, second right, and her parnter Chen Ling, register their marriage at the Zhongzheng District Household Registration Office in Taipei, yesterday.

Photo: EPA

Social Democratic Party (SDP) legislative candidate Lu Hsin-chieh (呂欣潔) went to Taipei’s Zhongzheng District Household Registration Office yesterday with her partner to register their same-sex partnership under a new measure the city has adopted.

The Taipei City Government has allowed for the registration of gay couples since Wednesday last week, becoming the second area in the nation to recognize such relationships after Kaohsiung.

If both partners have their household registered in Taipei, a gay couple can register their partnership at their respective district household registration offices.

However, the registration is not legally binding, but rather a symbolic record in the government’s household registration system of the partnership.

Under the regulations, a consent form allowing access to personal information is also signed, in which the signatory can choose to allow medical institutions, social welfare institutions or police access to the partnership registration information.

Under the terms of the consent form, registered partners are given some rights in emergencies, for example, the legal ability to sign consent forms for surgery in the absence of the patient’s relatives.

Lu said they still felt like “second-class citizens,” since the partner’s name is not put on national identity documents — as is the case for heterosexual partnerships — and the institutions concerned still have to go through “extra procedures” to confirm the partnership in case of emergency.

The registration does not solve other problems concerning the rights of spouses such as property division and inheritance, Lu said.

She also lashed out at the stalling of the marriage equality bill in the legislature and the Ministry of Justice’s passive obstruction to the passage of the bill.

Miao Poya (苗博雅), an openly gay SDP legislative candidate, said the registration granted by the city governments is far from a comprehensive protection of gay people’s legal rights.

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