The Taipei District Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a man whose same-sex partner died before gay marriage was officially legalized in Taiwan in May, entitling him to receive a funeral subsidy to which only married heterosexual couples were then entitled.
Nelson Hu (胡勝翔), secretary-general of the Taiwan Gender Queer Rights Advocacy Alliance, was originally denied the subsidy by the Bureau of Labor Insurance last year.
Hu and Pan Shih-hsin (潘世新) registered their partnership at a New Taipei City household registration office on June 20, 2017, giving Hu the right to sign medical consent forms for his partner, the court said.
Pan died of a rare form of hemangioma in November that year.
Hu in January last year applied with the bureau for the funeral subsidy. The application was rejected on the grounds that Pan and Hu were not legally married.
Only legally married couples were entitled to the benefit, the bureau said.
Hu appealed the case several times with the bureau, but was repeatedly denied until he took the case to court.
Taiwan did not officially legalize same-sex marriage until May 17 after most lawmakers of the Democratic Progressive Party and a few from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) voted to pass the Executive Yuan-sponsored Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748 (司法院釋字第748號解釋施行法).
The act gives same-sex couples the right to get married and entitles them to all the rights originally reserved for married heterosexual couples.
The law took effect on May 24.
The court said that Hu and Pan were a de facto legally married couple, even though they registered their partnership before the act took effect.
As Pan’s legal partner, Hu was thus entitled to claim the funeral subsidy from the bureau, it said.
The ruling can still be appealed, but the bureau on Wednesday told reporters that it would not and would go ahead and issue the subsidy to Hu.
Hu said that he filed the lawsuit not for the subsidy, but to fight for the legal rights of all registered same-sex partners, who should enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
SEEKING OPTIONS: A Sinyi Realty corporate realty official attributed the spike to proposed legal changes in the territory and the ongoing pro-democracy protests More Hong Kongers purchased real estate in Taiwan last year than other foreigners, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed. The ministry attributed the spike to a proposed extradition law that the Hong Kong government submitted last year, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to China and other nations, which sparked mass protests that are continuing. The rate of purchases last year by Hong Kong natural and juridical persons stood at 40 and 60 percent respectively, with building area purchased by both standing at 47.41 percent and 52.59 percent respectively, ministry data showed. Department of Land Administration statistics showed that Hong Kongers
ZERO TOLERANCE: National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin said that he ordered Kaohsiung police to investigate reports of planned voter intimidation Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) yesterday denounced the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for asking people not to vote in a recall poll against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), while National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) called on police to follow up on reports that gangsters are planning to intimidate voters. Yen said that in an effort to save Han, the KMT has mobilized all of its members, who have increasingly tried to prevent Kaohsiung residents from exercising their right to vote in the poll on Saturday next week. She called on Kaohsiung residents to have the courage
Taipei is to reopen public facilities starting on Monday next week under three conditions, and allow indoor and outdoor events with fewer than 250 and 1,000 people respectively, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) yesterday. The three conditions are practicing social distancing measures or wearing a mask if the proper distance cannot be kept, enforcing a real-name registration system for indoor activities and prohibiting meal sharing, Huang said. All municipal facilities would resume operations under those principles, with the exception of school campuses, she said. School campuses at high-school level and below would remain closed to the public to protect student health, but