Taipei rejects gay couple for mass wedding

REGULATIONS::Department of Civil Affairs Director Lan Shih-tsung said same-sex couples were excluded from the event due to requirements that are still being revised

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Sat, Apr 04, 2015 - Page 3

The Taipei City Government on Thursday rejected an application by a same-sex couple to sign up for a mass wedding held by the government, saying they did not conform to Civil Code regulations on marriage.

The Department of Civil Affairs said the applicants, who go by the nicknames Ray and Hsiao Ting (小丁), do not conform to Civil Code requirements for marriage, as their national identification cards show them both to be female.

Article 972 stipulates that an agreement to marry must be made between male and female parties of their own accord.

The couple lamented the decision, vowing to continue the struggle for the rights to marry of homosexual couples.

“It is regrettable that we are unable to attend the mass wedding organized by the Taipei City Government, but, on the other hand, we are happy to see the city government’s promise to support diversity in family composition, as well as the right to marry for same-sex couples,” the couple said in a statement following the rejection of their application.

“Our love is no different from that of any heterosexual couple, yet we face many legal restrictions. We are voicing our concerns, because we would like the government to see that same-sex couples also wish to be married, and look forward to a change,” the statement said.

“We hope that the city government will not break its promise, and we will continue to watch,” the statement said.

The couple was referring to a Taipei City Government policy to promote gender equality.

Taipei is planning a public wedding ceremony later in the year that would be open to all couples, irrespective of gender, in support of civil partnership, according to a statement released by the Office for Gender Equality.

Department of Civil Affairs Director Lan Shih-tsung (藍世聰) explained that same-sex couples have been excluded from the mass wedding because there was not enough time to revise regulations that were made public a long time ago, and that Taipei is organizing two wedding events instead.