'Blessed' gay men fight for marriage in court

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) A gay couple received best wishes from their mothers in their bid to get married in court Tuesday, although their desire to be joined in matrimony has very little chance of success as Taiwanese law does not recognize same-sex marriages. The two men, surnamed Chen and Kao, filed a complaint with the Taipei High Administrative Court to defend what they called "equal marriage rights" after their efforts to tie the knot were turned down by the relevant authorities. The couple have already held a public wedding banquet to celebrate their marriage, but their application to register as "husband and wife" was rejected by a district household registration office. They then took the issue to the Taipei city government, which turned down their appeal late last year, prompting them to take the legal action. Both their mothers were present at the hearing to lend support to their sons, who intend to get married despite the fact that Taiwan has yet to legalize gay marriage. According to Chen's mother, she struggled for 10 years after learning that her son was gay. "It was heartbreaking and painful at the beginning, but now I have overcome these feelings and I'm happy to have a daughter-in-law, or a new son." Echoing Chen's mother, Kao's mother said she decided to stand up to help gay people gain their right to get married. "In the end, I just want my boy to be happy," she said. The two men's lawyer argued at the hearing that same-sex marriages should be protected by Taiwan's laws, because the "single partner" concept is the core of the "one man, one woman marriage." In addition, the failure of the Civil Code to only pertain to heterosexual marriages while ignoring homosexual marriages is unconstitutional, he said. The judges, who also gave them their unofficial blessings, decided to call a new hearing May 15. (By Y.H. Huang and Flor Wang)