Taipei High Court rejects appeal to register gay union


Sat, Mar 29, 2014 - Page 3

The Taipei High Administrative Court has thrown out a gay couple’s appeal against a government agency that refused to register their marriage in the latest setback for same-sex unions in the nation, activists said yesterday.

Gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei (祁家威) and his partner filed the complaint with the Taipei court last year.

The court on Thursday ruled in favor of the agency, saying it did not violate the law that stipulates that “a marriage contract should be between a man and a woman.”

Chi has launched multiple legal bids to seek recognition of his marriage since 1986, but all have been rejected.

“The government is outdated and has not progressed over the years. This case concerns not just me, but all gay and lesbian people. This is unfair and I will appeal,” Chi said.

In 2011, another couple filed a similar complaint to an administrative court over the government’s refusal to register their marriage, but decided to drop their case last year, citing death threats as one of the reasons.

“We regret and are deeply saddened by the ruling ... which shows that Taiwan remains locked in the past, while the US and Europe are moving to support gay marriages,” Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy said in a statement. “We urge the court to acknowledge the importance of marital equal rights and grant homosexual citizens their right to get married.”

The nation’s gay and lesbian groups have been urging the government for years to make same-sex unions legal.

Last year, organizers said about 100,000 gays and lesbians and their supporters marched in the largest rally of its kind in Asia to push for the legalization of same-sex unions.