Most Asian nations, when compared to Western countries, have a relatively conservative mindset towards same-sex unions, but 2015 seems to be a progressive year for the LGBT community in Asia so far.
Earlier this year, Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward became the first ward to recognize same-sex marriages in Japan. In May, Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City took the first step towards administrating same-sex partnerships, and now Taipei City follows in Kaohsiung’s footsteps to become the second city in Taiwan to offer same-sex partnership registrations.
Last week, supporters of same-sex relationships in Taiwan took a moment of rejoice as the nation’s capital city, Taipei, began administration for same-sex partnerships.
The registration, however, does not take effect under the civil law, meaning that same-sex couples would be recognized as partners under the city’s household registration system, but not as a legally married couple in the eyes of the law. The regulation is open only to homosexual couples residing in Taipei, and both parties have to be present for registration. The household registration can be changed at no administration cost should the couple decide to go separate ways.
As mentioned, the new registration does not change a couple’s marriage status, thus neither party would have legal rights to their partner’s inheritance, but the administration offers registered partners the option of signing an agreement on collection of personal information. Taking up the option would allow public agencies such as hospitals and the police to access the city’s household registry and allow either partner to give consent for emergency surgery in the absence of the other’s relatives or legal representatives.
▼ Taiwanese pop diva Jolin Tsai’s controversial music video adapted from a real-life story depicts the woes of same-sex partnership in the case of a medical emergency.
Although some net users have commented that the administration seems rather meaningless since it does not change anything in terms of legal rights, supporters of the cause have expressed that even though it is more of a symbolic move, they are glad that the city has taken this small step, and are hoping that the law will eventually be more accepting towards same-sex partnerships.