Taiwan’s first gay divorce announced three weeks after first marriage

Emma Powys Maurice June 18, 2019
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Taiwan has seen its first same-sex divorce, just three weeks after same-sex marriage was legalised in the Asian country.

On May 16 Taiwan announced it would be the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage, two years after Taiwan’s top court ruled that defining marriage as being between only a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

A total of 526 same-sex couples registered to marry on May 24, the first day that the law came into effect following a three-decade fight for equal marriage. 185 of those couples were male and 341 were female. They will be able to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples in terms of inheritances and medical powers of attorney.

Many couples married en masse on the same day, and hundreds more wed in the following weeks, including one gay male couple who are now already divorced after an incredibly short honeymoon period.

The Pingtung County Department of Civil Affairs said that on the first day that same-sex marriage was legalised, one same-sex couple had made an appointment to register, but later cancelled because they were too young and their families opposed it.

County officials advised that regardless of whether it is heterosexual or same-sex marriage, couples should carefully consider the consequences before getting married. According to the department, an average of 150 to 160 couples file for divorce per month in Pingtung County.

The first gay male couple to marry, Shane Lin and Marc Luan, are still happily wedded. The pair kissed and signed their wedding certificate at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi District in Taipei in front of a media scrum.

Taiwan’s first gay male married couple, Shane Lin and Marc Luan (Getty Images)

They were followed by playwright LiYing Chien and her girlfriend, a cartoonist who goes by the pen name Cynical Chick.


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