Intl. same-sex couple to challenge Taiwan law

NHK has learned a Taiwanese man and his Japanese partner plan to challenge rules in Taiwan that have banned their marriage. The development could pave the way for more international couples in Taiwan's LGBTQ community to wed.

42-year-old Ariyoshi Eizaburo from Japan and 34-year-old Lu Yin-jen of Taiwan plan to sue the Taipei municipal government, demanding it to accept their marriage registration.

The couple has submitted papers twice to register their marriage at a municipal office. Both attempts were rejected.

In May 2019, Taiwan's parliament became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. But it does not allow unions between a Taiwanese person and a foreigner from a country where same-sex marriage is not legal. That includes Japan.

Ariyoshi and Lu aim to file the lawsuit on Thursday. They say all they are asking is to be recognized as a family.

Ariyoshi said, "Suppose my husband or I get sick and end up in the hospital. We may not be allowed to be at one other's side just because we are not married. I'm deeply concerned when I think about such a situation."

A lawyer representing the couple says it is the first time a Japanese person will challenge these rules.