Hundreds of same-sex couples register for marriage

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According to statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior, as of 2 p.m., 363 couples of the same gender had completed marriage registration, including 116 male couples and 247 female couples. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — A total of 363 couples registered for marriage within six hours of same-sex marriage becoming legal in Taiwan on May 24, with the number expected to climb further before the end of business hours for Household Registration Offices across the country, which is 8 p.m. for several.

According to statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior, as of 2 p.m., 363 couples of the same gender had completed marriage registration, including 116 male couples and 247 female couples.

The first same-sex couple to register for marriage in Taiwan finished the procedure at 8 a.m. sharp at the Household Registration Office in Tainan City’s Annan District, the ministry said.

Currently, New Taipei City has registered 74 married same-sex couples, followed by Kaohsiung City with 58 and Taipei City with 55.

Deputy Interior Minister Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) said all the reports the ministry has received thus far suggest the work of registering gay marriages on the first day of legalization has proceeded smoothly.

“The atmosphere at local Household Registration Offices has been good and happy,” Chen told CNA.

Under the Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748, which was passed on May 17 and signed into law by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday, two people of the same gender aged 18 or older are allowed to register for marriage, with at least two witnesses signing the registration document.

They will be able to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples in the area of inheritance and medical power of attorney. A party will be allowed to adopt the biological children of the other, but not the non-biological ones he or she had previously adopted.

By Stacy Hsu