What has Changed?
What’s next?
Taiwan after Same-sex marriage Legalization

Taiwan passed the same-sex marriage law on May 17, 2019, making it the first country to do so in Asia. This controversial law stirred up a debate at that moment, and one year after, how does it go?

by Wen Chen | December 6, 2020

Since May 24, 2020, there are over 4000 same-sex couple married, and about 200 couples got divorced. To be more specific, the urban area (Taipei City, Xinbei City, KaoHsiung City) takes up higher proportion of the numbers of marriage.

The number of Marriages of Same-sex couples in Taiwan, 2019 - 2020
The number of Divorces of Same-sex couples in Taiwan, 2019 - 2020

While same-sex marriage seems to become "normal" in Taiwan, some people in LGBTQ community still wish they can be more open to their sexuality in work space. According to a survey by Taiwan Tongzi hotline, about 50 percent of LGBTQ Taiwanese express their worry about the influence on office relationships if coming out, and 38 percent of them think coming out might affect their career or promotion.

Since the Same-sex Marriage Act, Taiwanese people seems to be more open and progressive about LGBTQ issues and rights. Over 65% of Taiwanese said that Same-sex couple should be allowed to adopt children. Moreover, 68.7% thinks that Same-sex couples can raise the kid well as heterosexual couples, higher than 2018's 56.2%.

Taiwanese's attitude on LGBTQ issues, according to Gender Equity Survey, 2020 by The Gender Equality Committee, Executive Yuan

While the law itself is a huge progress on Taiwanese LGBT history, it's not a flawless bill for a lot of people, especially for those who are longing for marriage with foreign citizens and adopting children. Since the strange lawmaking process, the transnational marriage part is not included in the law, the foreign citizen who came from country that hasn't legalized same-sex marriage is not allowed to marry Taiwanese. Therefore, they can only apply for a short-term travel visa and are forced to leave if the visa expires, making their relationship harder to sustain.

According to the minister of the Civil Department of Judicial Yuan, Lee Kuo-tseng, Judicial Yuan has finished the amendment of "Act Governing the Choice of Law in Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements", the bill that regulates the rights of foreign citizens.

This Story
Data and News Source:
Marriage and divorce data from Department of Statistics, Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan, Work environment survey from Taiwan Tongzi (LGBTQ+) Hotline, The Gender equity survey, 2020 by The Gender Equality Committee, Executive Yuan, and news from Radio Taiwan International. Photo from Wikipedia Common by KOKUYO.

Special Thanks:
Youjin Shin