Sara Ramirez
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This Gay Couple Celebrated a Big Win for Marriage Equality in Taiwan

Historic Win for Couple and Marriage Equality in Taiwan

Following a landmark victory in court this past May, two men made their marriage official in Taiwan on Friday.

Ting Tse-yen, 29, and his partner Leong Chin-fai, 33, from Macau tied the knot after a court ruled in their favor earlier this year, according to a report from the Agence France Presse that appeared in Barrons.

Taiwan has recognized marriage equality since a 2017 court decision and a further 2019 legislative act, but only when one of the partners is from a country that does not matrimonially discriminate against same-sex unions. Ting is from Taiwan, while Leong is from Macau, which does not recognize marriage equality. The pair challenged that restriction and won in May, allowing them to officially record their marriage on Friday.

While the ruling was welcome news for the happily betrothed couple and international activists, the victory set no national precedent as it applied only to Ting and Leong. Other same-sex couples in similar situations must still battle through the courts for their marriages to be legally recognized.

"This is an initial success," Ting said, as was quoted by Barrons. "Other international couples still can't marry and we call for full recognition."

"We hope our registration today will let the government see that marriage equality has yet to be realized," Leong echoed.

At present, it seems unlikely that Taiwan will move to make marriage equality legal for all Taiwanese citizens by legislatively eliminating the current requirements. Conservatives responded to the 2017 court ruling by passing a referendum that banned future amendments to the marriage code in midterm elections the following year. According to The Diplomat, President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive (DPP) party later suffered heavy electoral losses to the conservative Kuomintang (KMT) party following passage in 2019 of a bill legalizing marriage equality, although the new law still was subject to an existing act which limited those marriages only to cases where one partner is from a country where the practice is legal. The Diplomat observed that it is unlikely President Tsai will attempt to fight further for marriage equality due to the potential political fallout.

For now, though, Ting and Leong are happy they were finally permitted to legally register the love they have for each other.

"We've waited for two years and finally we can get married," Ting said.

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