Taiwan approves same-sex marriage of transnational couples

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Taiwan has decided to recognize same-sex marriages between its citizens and their foreign partners, even if the countries of the partners do not allow same-sex marriage, in a departure from the previous interpretation.

Taiwan became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019, but it had interpreted the law to only allow Taiwanese to marry same-sex spouses who are citizens of countries or territories where same-sex marriage is legal.

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The Ministry of the Interior informed local authorities of the change of interpretation from Thursday. Due to procedural issues, the new rule does not apply to same-sex marriages involving people from mainland China.

Same-sex marriage supporters gather at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on May 17, 2019. (TBEN) ==TBEN

The move comes after a slew of court rulings recognized the unconstitutionality of rejecting same-sex marriage registration for transnational couples based on the initial legal interpretation.

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Among them was a statement about a Taiwanese-Japanese couple. Their marriage registration was accepted in Taipei last September.

Japan remains the only country in the Group of Seven that does not recognize same-sex marriage, and a number of lawsuits have been filed in the country by same-sex couples.


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