Taiwan records 4,021 gay marriages, almost one year after law passage

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — A total of 4,021 gay couples got married in Taiwan as of Friday, almost exactly one year after a new law legalizing same-sex marriages in Taiwan took effect on May 24, 2019.

Data released Saturday by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) showed that the majority of the registered marriages were female couples, which stood at 2,773, or 69 percent of the total, with 1,248 for male couples.

New Taipei led with the registration of 815 same-sex marriages, followed by Taipei with 633 and Kaohsiung with 534, according to the statistics.

The Legislative Yuan passed the same-sex marriage bill in May last year, and the law went into effect on May 24 that year, making Taiwan the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriages.

It allows two people of the same gender, aged 18 or older, to register their marriages, including those between Taiwan nationals and partners from countries where gay marriage is legal.

While the majority of these same-sex marriages were between Taiwanese nationals, the number of transnational couples in which one spouse was a foreign national was 189, or 5 percent of the total.

Among them, 80 people were from the United States, followed by Canada at 21 and Australia at 17, according to the MOI data.

According to a government survey conducted May 4-6, 52.5 percent of Taiwan residents agree that same-sex couples should enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, which is a significant rise from the 37.4 percent surveyed prior to the legalization of gay marriage in 2018.