New marriage certificates will not contain words 'same-sex,' confirms Taiwan legislator

Kolas Yotaka responded to concerns about a draft certificate held by the Ministry of the Interior

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Marriage registration for same-sex couples will be...

Marriage registration for same-sex couples will be... (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New marriage certificates to appear on the Ministry of the Interior’s website will not contain the words “same-sex,” legislator Kolas Yotaka reassured a concerned public on Thursday (May 23).

A Sociology professor at National Sun Yat-sen University had pointed out that a previous version of the certificate held by the ministry was specifically labeled “certificate of same-sex marriage,” according to the Central News Agency. Yotaka said this was a template for internal reference only, and that the certificates issued to newlywed couples on Friday would not contain the words “same-sex.”

Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan on May 17 voted to legalize same-sex marriage in what was a landmark victory for LGBT rights advocates. Same-sex couples can register their marriages from Friday (May 24), when the new law comes into force.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) stressed during a meeting at the Executive Yuan that staff tasked with issuing the certificates had been instructed to set an example with their behavior, leave personal beliefs and values aside, and conduct their duties without any discriminatory statements or actions.

Staff have been asked to remain cordial and courteous to each new couple registering their marriage, he said.

Su said the enactment of the bill on Friday is only the beginning of the government’s work.

The premier said he asked relevant departments to complete all preparatory work and remind the public that any same-sex couple that legally obtains a certificate of marriage is guaranteed equal rights without discrimination.

It is the responsibility of teachers and the Department of Education to ensure related subjects and textbooks are taught with the new law in mind, and propagate the value of equality, Su said.

The government must work from the inside out to guarantee a welcoming environment for everyone, he added.

The Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748 cleared its third reading in the Legislative Yuan on May 17 and was signed into law by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday, said Su.

Thank you to the world for its support, he said, and the people for their understanding. Let society move forward and let the world see Taiwan’s efforts to protect human rights.

No matter your gender or sexuality, we are all one people, Su said. We live on the same land, under the same sky, and only by accepting the differences in each other can we allow Taiwan to become a respectful, welcoming nation.

內政部戶政司在網站上公布「同性結婚書約」示意範本。(圖取自內政部戶政司網頁ris.gov.tw)