TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two same-sex couples are expected to be the first to take part in Taiwan's annual military joint weddings, which are slated for Friday (Oct. 30).
One-and-a-half years since Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex unions, the Army announced on Monday (Oct. 26) that two same-sex couples will take part in its mass wedding. Among the 52 couples featured on its Facebook page were the two same-sex pairs that will be participating, identified as Wang Yi (王翊) and Meng Yu-mei (孟酉玫) and Chen Ying-hsuan (陳瑩宣) and Li Li-chen (李沴稹).
The Military News Agency on Monday reported that this year's joint weddings for the Army, Navy, and Air Force are all scheduled for Friday. The collective ceremony for the Army will be held at Dahan Base (大漢營區) at 8:30 a.m.
The mass wedding for the Navy will take place at Haiying Base (海鷹營區) at 2 p.m., while the group ceremony for the Air Force will take place at Tainan Air Base at the same time. The "Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748” was passed on May 17, 2019, and same-sex couples could register for marriage starting May 24, 2019.
In accordance with the law, the Ministry of National Defense last year also began allowing same-sex marriages for enlisted service members. Three same-sex couples initially signed up to be the first to take part in the joint military weddings last September.
However, they later dropped out of the Navy and Air Force ceremonies before they took place, and the Army did not register any same-sex couples that year. This year, it is the Army that is leading the way with two couples.
Wang Yi and Meng Yu-mei. (Facebook, Republic of China Army photo)
Chen Ying-hsuan and Li Li-chen. (Facebook, Republic of China Army photo)