Taipei, Nearly one year after a new law legalizing same-sex marriages in Taiwan took effect on May 24, 2019, the country had recorded more than 3,500 gay marriages as of the end of March, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said Friday.
Data released by the MOI showed a total of 3,553 gay couples had registered their marriages in Taiwan at the end of March with New Taipei City recording the largest number of 722 same-sex marriages among the six largest cities in the country.
The Legislative Yuan passed the same-sex marriage bill on May 2019, and the law went into effect on May 24 in the same year, making Taiwan the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriages.
The law allows two people of the same gender, aged 18 or older, to register their marriage, if they have at least two witnesses signing the registration document.
With the law effective almost for one year, the MOI announced the total number of same-sex marriages registered so far.
Of the 3,553 same-sex marriages registered in Taiwan, 1,122 were male couples and 2,431 were female couples.
On the other hand, a total of 188 divorces of same-sex couples were registered: 114 female couples and 74 male couples as of the end of March, the MOI said.
After New Taipei City, the MOI said, Taipei came in second with 582 gay couples in the city registering their marriages at the end of March, ahead of Kaohsiung City with 473, Taichung 423, Taoyuan 347 and Tainan 234, among Taiwan’s six largest cities.
Outside the six major cities, Pingtung County took first place, registering 110 gay couples as of the end of March, followed by Hsinchu City with 85, and Hsinchu County and Hualien County with 84 each, the data showed.
Three outlying counties were at the bottom of the rankings in same sex couple registration, with Lienchiang County on Matsu Islands having only one gay couple ahead of Penghu and Kinmen, which had 10 each, the data showed.
Marriage equality was one of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) political platforms during her presidential campaign in 2016.
Commenting on the passage of the law on May 17, 2019, Tsai called the day “a proud day for Taiwan.”
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel