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Taiwan’s Gay (LGBT) Rights Law

Same-sex marriage is not permitted in Taiwan, nor does Taiwan have cohabitation law in place. Homosexual couples are not entitled to the many legal rights heterosexual couples have.

Take medical treatment for example, same-sex couples in principle, are not eligible to sign surgery consent forms or agreements to forfeit rights to live saving aids. The same is true for gift and estate tax, assisted reproduction laws and alike; the rights enjoyed by opposite sex couples do not apply to same-sex couples. Though there have been precedents of adoption rights being granted to singles, appointed legal guardian can only be one person.  Furthermore, in practice, judges almost exclusively award adoptions to heterosexual couples. 

Introduction to Gay Movement and Conditions in Taiwan

The highlight of Taiwan’s achievement in gay movements is staging the first and the largest gay parade in East Asia.  As many as 20,000 people took to the streets last year, and managed to raise awareness and rally substantive participation around the neighboring countries.

Taiwan’s gay rights advocacy groups have scored high in advocating equal rights. Homosexuals along with groups of other sexual orientation that offer hotline services hold hundreds of talks and activities each year. Hotline services by gay groups in particular, also offer phone counseling and counseling to gay parents.

Nevertheless, schools and teachers that work with gay organizations are still in the minority. Resources available to homosexuals in the non-metropolitan areas are limited. At the same time, fear for the church strapped with paramount financial and human resources riding on the government’s “Gender Equality Education” vehicle, promote their own version of “gay education.” On the whole, gay education in schools of Taiwan still lack in many regards.  Discrimination against gays on campus is rampant; some teachers even take the lead in doing so.  Other issues include self-mutilation, and so on.

While confronted with a series of adversities ranging from the malicious police raids in the early days to the latest anti-gay rhetoric by some political figures, Taiwan’s gay community has been on the front line vocalizing and fighting for their rights. However up till now, the fight for gay rights continues to suffer huge setbacks, such is the case in failing to pass preliminary reading of legalizing gay marriage in the parliament; the budget allocated for the gay community is dwindling by the year or difficult to come through in Taipei, sometimes with strings attached such as discriminatory requirements; allowance for social welfare tends to favor legitimate heterosexual couples and etc.  All above examples depict the unfair treatment the gay community has been receiving.

Translated by Emerald Chang

05/18/2010 – 14:42


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