Two men, Ting Tse-yen and Guzifer Leong, have won their case against the Taiwanese government and will be able to legally marry after they were initially barred from doing so, reports Gay Times.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Taiwan since May 17, 2019. Since then, over 6,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot. However, couples like Ting and Leong were prevented from marrying by the Taiwanese government due to a loophole in the legislation that means same-sex marriage is only possible if both parties come from countries where it is legal.
Leong is from Macau, which still outlaws same-sex marriage and Ting is Taiwanese. The couple faced a lengthy two-year court battle to have their union recognised and won the landmark case on May, 2021. On Friday, August 13, the couple officially married in Taipei.
According to Taipei Times, the couple attempted to register for a marriage license in 2019 after the same-sex legislation was passed and have fought since then for recognition. Ting told Taipei Times, “we’ve waited for two years and finally we can get married”.
Although this historic win is a first step for LGBTQIA+ citizens in Taiwan, the legal ruling only applies to Ting and Leong. According to Macau Daily Times, the decision to allow Ting and Leong’s marriage registration came from the court ruling that the legal jurisdiction for civil matters must be based on a person’s place of habitual residence. Seeing that Leong moved to Taiwan in 2017 has been residing there since, the case was able to move forward on that premise.
This case is a win for the LGBTQIA+ community in Taiwan as it sets the legal precedent for future cases, however not all couples will find the success that Ting and Leong have.
“This is an initial success. Other international couples still can’t marry and we call for full recognition,” says Ting. Leong added, “We hope our registration today will let the government see that marriage equality has yet be realised.”
The newlyweds have also founded a group that will work to support other gay couples with an international partner who are seeking to get married in Taiwan.