Taiwan Equality Campaign
“There are still many LGBTQI+ equal rights issues that need our follow up and concerted actions, including gender marker change.”Jennifer Lu, Executive Director, Taiwan Equality Campaign
Ever since the legalization of same sex marriage, Taiwan is continuously working on equal rights for same sex couples and their families. There are over 5,000 same-sex couples who married within these two years, and the legal protection as a “family” is more important than ever, especially under the uncertain pandemic situation at this moment. However, there are still space for improvement in the current marriage law: transnational marriage is limited to foreigners from countries that already legalized same sex marriage, same sex couples cannot adopt child together and artificial reproductive technology is only allowed for heterosexual married couples.
According to the annual Taiwan Equality Campaign social attitude survey (May 2021), some 59 percent of the respondents support the adoption of children by same-sex married couples, up from 56.8 percent in a similar survey last year. A total of 44.8 percent of respondents support assisted reproductive technology for same-sex married couples, up from 42.1 percent last year. Fifty-six percent of the respondents supported transnational same-sex marriages, a 2.2 percent increase from last year. The results show that our society is becoming more friendly and accepting of LGBTQ+ people, but we also learned that some twenty-five percent strongly oppose LGBTIQ+ related issues.
Another important lesson learned from this survey is the fact that respondents have a close LGBTIQ+ family member or friend, have a much higher support rate for equal rights compared to those respondents with no LGBTIQ+ friends or relatives. This may tell us that we are on the right track to fight for a better and equal future through sharing real stories, raising visibility and open up the conversation in the family and society. Marriage is not the destination, it is just a beginning to make the Asian society aware of and accept our existence, and make others understand who we really are. We are not only your friends or family, we are also a part of the community in Taiwan.
During the last two years, many LGBT organizations have been working very hard to fight for equal rights, and this resulted in some positive developments. Our government proposed a new amendment to relax the limitation about transnational marriage and the amendment is waiting to go to the parliament. In addition, two court cases ruled in favor of transnational same sex couples and our proposed amendment to the law on co–adoption rights recently passed the first reading. There are still many LGBTQI+ equal rights issues that need our follow up and concerted actions, including gender marker change.