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National News

Taiwan same-sex couples register to marry

Taiwan's marriage equality law has officially taken effect, allowing same-sex couples across the island to register their marriages.

According to the Taiwanese Ministry of the Interior, the household registration system is ready from Friday and the process for same-sex couples will be the same as for heterosexual marriages.

In Taipei, the founders of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, 47-year-old Victoria Hsu and 42-year-old Chih-Chieh Chien, are the first same-sex couple registering their marriage.

"Never had I thought of the possibility to get married when I firstly realised that I'm a lesbian at age 15," Hsu, the alliance's president, said.

Hsu and Chien, a well-known couple in LGBT circles, have been fighting together for marriage equality for nearly 10 years. After the registration, the couple happily showed their national IDs, which contain spouses' names.

A total of 16 same-sex couples filed for marriage at the Zhongzheng District Household Registry Office on Friday.

At the Xinyi District Household Registry Office in Taipei, 20 same-sex couples registered to marry. Prominent gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei signed their paperwork as a witness with a pen provided by President Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai used the same pen to sign the marriage equality bill into law on Wednesday.

Taiwan's legislature on May 17 passed a special bill for same-sex marriage, a first in Asia.

© DPA 2019