Taiwan: Gay rights activist to reboot campaign for equal marriage following setback

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A gay rights activist in Taiwan has promised to appeal against the country’s ban on equal marriage, after being turned down whilst attempting to register to marry his partner.

Chief Day-way, who is known by some as the ‘gay rights godfather’, because of his dedication to gay rights over the past 30-years, attempted to register to marry his partner, but was told they could not.

An official at the household registration office in Taipei, told Chief that only opposite-sex couples were allowed to register to legally marry, reports Yahoo.

The 55-year-old said he woud now renew a campaign appealing the city government and courts to legalise equal marriage.

The campaign for equal marriage in Taiwan hit a bump in the road in January when a gay couple, who filed a lawsuit last year after being rejected in their application for marriage, said they would withdraw their case.

In December, Nelson Chen and Kao Chih-wei filed the lawsuit against the Taipei city government for rejecting their attempt to register their marriage.

At the time Chen said he had “lost his faith in the judiciary”, and went on to say that death threats to his family and himself via social media sites had contributed to his decision to withdraw his case.

During a hearing on 29 November, two expert witnesses spoke strongly in favour of allowing the couple’s marriage legal recognition, and of legalising marriage equality.

In August, the deputy director-general of Taiwan’s Centres for Disease Control became the first senior official in the country to publicly come out in support of marriage equality.

Chief ha said that Taiwan’s top judicial body needs to explain the legal reasons behind maintaining a ban on same-sex marriages, following a 2004 promise by then-president Chen Shui-bian, to push forward for legislation to allow it.

Gay and lesbian campaign groups have been pushing the government to allow equal marriage for years, and during its 10th annual gay pride event last year, more than 50,000 people turned out to support the cause.