TAIPEI (CNA) – A total of 1,173 same-sex couples have registered their marriage in Taiwan, while two have gotten divorced, since May 24 when the country became the first in Asia to legalize gay marriage, according to the latest government statistics released on June 23.
One month after the landmark same-sex marriage bill took effect in Taiwan, Ministry of the Interior (MOI) statistics show that among the 1,173 gay marriages so far, 790 have been between female couples and 383 between male partners.
The data also indicated that 28 transnational gay marriages were registered over the past month, with one partner being Taiwanese and the other a foreign national in each case.
None of the newlywed gay couples have filed to adopt their partner’s biological children during the one-month period, according to the (MOI) statistics.
Meanwhile, two of the 1,173 same-sex couples have since obtained a divorce, the data shows.
Under the Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748, which was passed on May 17 and took effect on May 24, two people of the same gender, aged 18 or older, are allowed to register for marriage in Taiwan.
They are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples in the area of inheritance and medical power of attorney. One partner may adopt the biological offspring of the other, but not non-biological children that have been previously adopted by one party.
On May 24 when the same-sex marriage bill took effect, 526 gay couples registered for marriage, according to MOI data.
A statistical breakdown of the latest data found that most married same-sex couples live in New Taipei (242), followed by Taipei (198), Kaohsiung (159), Taichung (141) and Taoyuan (123).
In five of Taiwan’s 22 cities and counties, the number of same-sex marriages recorded so far has been fewer than 10, while none have been registered in the island county of Matsu, the data showed.
Over the past month, meanwhile, 9,644 heterosexual marriages have been registered in Taiwan, averaging 321 a day, compared with 39 same-sex marriages, according to the MOI statistics. ●
By Stacy Hsu