Taiwan approves same-sex marriage for most transnational couples

Authorities in Taiwan have decided to allow transnational same-sex couples to register their marriages, except for Taiwanese-Chinese pairs.

The interior ministry had notified relevant entities of the decision by Friday.

Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in May 2019, becoming the first in Asia to do so. However, a same-sex couple had been unable to register their union if one of them was from a country or jurisdiction where it was illegal.

But the authorities were defeated in a number of lawsuits filed by transnational couples seeking official recognition of their marriages.

In notifying the policy change, the interior ministry said same-sex marriage has already become part of Taiwan's public order and stressed the need to avoid inconsistency in handling cases.

However, the ministry says the restriction will remain in place if one of the partners is from China, excluding those who are from Hong Kong and Macao.

An advocacy group for sexual minorities issued a joint statement with six other entities. The statement said it is regrettable that Taiwanese-Chinese couples are still ineligible for marriage registration, but it expressed the group's deep gratitude to all the people involved in the efforts.