Taiwan’s two largest cities team up to make life easier for gay couples

Life in a gay couple just got a little bit easier in Taiwan as the country’s two largest cities have teamed up on same-sex partnership registration.

Taipei and Kaohsiung will share information on the registered partnerships from 1 January.

This will mean couples registered in one city will not need to register in the other if they relocate.

Taipei began allowing registrations for cohabiting same-sex couples in June, and as of November, 44 couples had done so.

The process of obtaining official letters or cancelling partnership registraions is also easier as a result of the change.

“to give more same-sex couples spiritual comfort, and to ensure that the promises they made to each other regarding their lives can be carried out,” the Department of Civil Affairs said.

The change intends to “implement gender diversity practices and promote the rights of same-sex couples.”

Kaohsiung began allowing same-sex registered partnerships in May this year, and was the first in Taiwan.

Then Taipei was the second, following suit on June 17.

A third city, Taichung, also enabled same-sex couples to register their partnerships starting in October.

Although the registered partnerships do not afford same-sex couples equal rights to straight married couples, it allows them some rights.

Couples can sign medical contracts for one another, for example.

A same-sex marriage bill has stalled in Taiwan since it passed the legislature in 2013.

The bill was met with fierce opposition from religious groups.