Fri, Oct 18, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Same-sex couples decline to attend military ceremony

By Aaron Tu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The last of three same-sex couples who were slated to attend the Ministry of National Defense’s joint marriage ceremony yesterday announced their decision not to participate, leaving ceremony on Saturday next week without any same-sex couples this year.

Three same-sex couples — two from the navy and one from the air force — had originally signed up, though the two navy couples said last month that they would not attend the ceremony.

The Navy Command Headquarters said the two couples cited media pressure and other concerns for their decision.

The navy maintains an open mind and respect for these couples and wishes them the best, despite their decision, the navy said.

The same-sex couple from the air force has not cited reasons for their decision not to participate in the ceremony, the air force said.

The air force’s joint marriage ceremony is to be held at Pingtung Airport on Saturday next week, while the navy and army will both be holding their joint ceremonies on Nov. 15, the ministry said.

The ministry has allowed same-sex couples to register for the joint marriage ceremony since the passing of the Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 (司法院釋字第748號解釋施行法) on May 17.

The constitutional interpretation issued in 2017 upheld same-sex couples’ rights to marry and form “a permanent, intimate and exclusive union,” and it demanded legal amendments to be completed within two years.

The act was the legislature’s response to the constitutional interpretation and in keeping with the demands of referendum questions 10 and 12, which received 7.65 million and 6.40 million “yes” votes respectively.

Question #10 asked: “Do you agree that the Civil Code should define marriage as the union between a man and a woman,” while Question #12 asked: “Do you agree that the right to persons of the same sex to create a permanent union should be guaranteed by an institution other than marriage as defined by the Civil Code?”

Additional reporting by CNA

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