Taiwan became the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in May 2019. However, transnational same-sex marriages are prohibited if one spouse is from a country where same-sex marriage has not yet been legalized. As the leading organization promoting marriage equality in Taiwan, TAPCPR will continue to provide assistance to transnational same-sex couples through lobbying, litigation, media awareness and social advocacy to urge the government to legalize all same-sex marriages.
Without legal marriage, the foreign spouse can only stay temporarily in Taiwan through a student visa or work permit. Once the reason for the residence is voided, transnational same-sex couples will be forced to separate. Among hundreds of transnational couples that we have assisted, some of them have already formed families in Taiwan. The forced separation will cause them considerable burden and disturbance. They urgently need the Taiwan government to correct this discriminatory clause.
We have proposed four strategies to tackle these challenges. Firstly, we will amplify the stories of relevant cases through media to raise public awareness. Secondly, we will continue lobbying the government and legislators. Thirdly, we will represent our clients in litigation to challenge the existing laws. Finally, we will continue to host support groups regularly and provide those couples necessary assistance. Our goal is to amend this policy in the shortest period of time.
If we can succeed in this project, all same-sex couples can enjoy the freedom of marriage in Taiwan regardless of their nationality. The current same-sex marriage law is not true equality. Not only does it fail to protect full freedom of marriage, it also fails to ensure the same rights as heterosexuals in adopting children. Our advocacy on this issue will continue to facilitate communication in Taiwanese society aimed at eliminating the stigmatization and social discrimination of homosexuals.