Thomas Chan (詹順貴) and Lin Tzu-ling (林子凌), both long-time activists involved in social and environmental movements, were married yesterday following the passage of the Wetlands Act (溼地法) in June, in line with a promise that they would get married once the law was passed.
Wearing red T-shirts bearing the slogan “something is happening in farming villages” that are often seen during protests against the government’s forced land seizures, while holding a bouquet of flowers with a band reading “justice in land use,” Chan and Lin appeared outside the Sindian District Household Registration Office in New Taipei City (新北市) where they were greeted by a dozen members of the Taiwan Rural Front (TRF) wearing the same T-shirts.
“Something is happening today for sure, but this time, it’s a good thing,” the bride, Lin, said while pointing to the slogan on her T-shirt, smiling.
“The document that I am signing now is much more important than any document that the government hands out,” the groom, Chan, said as he signed their marriage certificate.
Chan, a lawyer and a member of the TRF, and Lin, a specialist at the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Foundation, met when the foundation was looking for representation in environmental lawsuits.
As they worked together, the pair became more than just partners at work.
“Let’s make a wish, and make the passage of the Wetlands Act as the condition for our marriage,” Lin once said while discussing marriage about three years ago while lobbying lawmakers to consider environmental groups’ version of the bill.
As the law was officially passed in June and promulgated by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) last month, Chan thought the time was ripe to propose.
“The Wetlands Act has been passed, let’s get married,” Chan wrote in a blog post to Lin on Friday.
After the newlyweds completed their registration, TRF members greeted them with a shouted slogan — this time not to protest, but to wish them well.
“Tear down the government today, be happy everyday!” They shouted, drawing curious looks from clerks and visitors to the office.
“They have both made significant contributions to Taiwan’s environment,” TRF president and Naitonal Chengchi University Land Economics professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) said.
“They have found happiness in their struggle, and I believe they will continue to work for the struggle while they live together in happiness,” said Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全), TRF member and associate professor at National Taipei University’s Department of Real Estate and Built Environment.