Laws

TAIWAN

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
  Military
Parenting
Partners
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is believed to be lawful at eighteen (18) years [citation required], although sixteen (16) years has been reported as the age of consent [R1.1].

R1.1 Avert: Worldwide ages of consent (Accessed 10 NOV 10)
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation, Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

As at November 2008, Taiwan prohibits artificial insemination treatment for single women and women in a same-sex relationship [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 13 March 2015, the Shihlin District Court rejected the adoption application of “Ta Kuei” and “Chou Chou” (pseudonyms) who have been together for about 15 years. One of them gave birth to two children in Canada via artificial insemination. The decision cited Taiwan's Civil Code, which defines spousal and marital statuses as a union between a man and a woman, and that “diverse family formations” have yet to garner approval by society and the children would likely be negatively impacted by the experience of growing up in an unconventional family [R2.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 109.64kb, NOV 08
R2.1 FocusTaiwan: Same-sex couple's adoption bid rejected: report 13 MAR 15
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

National

In April 2012, the Ministry of Interior in Taiwan issued a progressive policy:– in a paper on funeral etiquette to be released in June, the government suggests that obituaries avoid euphemisms like 'close brotherly or close sisterly relationship' to refer to gay partners and to use the term ''partner'' instead [R1.4].

On 25 July 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that same-sex spouses of diplomats posted to the country are not entitled to full diplomatic immunity and other privileges in Taiwan currently enjoyed by their straight counterparts [R1.3].

On 19 April 2008, legislation that would have recognised same-sex couples was delayed because of what one activist sees as a possible backlash in the run-up to next year’s presidential elections [R1.2].

In March 2002, the ministry of justice reportedly drafted a law to allow for legal unions between same-sex couples in Taiwan [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 26 December 2016, the Taipei City Government was reported to have begun to issue newly implemented same-sex partnership certificates that allow same-sex couples to apply for family care leave and sign surgical or medical treatment consent forms for each other [R2.3].

On 17 June 2015, the Taipei City Government was reported to be accepting registrations of same-sex partnerships. Local government registration is deemed in general as bearing more symbolic meaning than substantial benefits to same-sex couples [R2.2].

On 16 April 2015, Tseng Tzu-wen, head of Kaohsiung City Government's Bureau of Civil Affairs was reported to have said that the city will allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens whose household registration is in Kaohsiung to designate their partner in city records, starting 20 May. The information recorded will only be used by the city government internally as a reference, and will not be legally binding. No certificates regarding the designation of partners will be issued [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 27 March 2012, the Taipei High Administrative Court was expected to start hearing a case to decide whether a same-sex couple can register under the same household [C3.2], [R3.1].

R1.4 GayStarNews: Gay euphemisms dismissed from Taiwan's obits 05 APR 12
R1.3 PinkNews: Taiwan denies gay foreign diplomats immunity for their spouses
R1.2 Star Observer: Taiwan Law Reform Shelved 20 APR 08
R1.1 The Advocate: Taiwan May Legalize Same-sex Unions 12 MAR 02
R2.3 FocusTaiwan: Taipei begins issuance of same-sex partnership certificates 26 DEC 16
R2.2 TaipeiTimes: Taipei to register gay relationships 20 JUN 15
R2.1 WantChinaTimes: Kaohsiung allows same-sex couples to designate partners in city records 16 MAY 15
C3.2 Quaere: Chen Jing-hsueh and Gao Jhih-wei v. Taipei City Zhongshan District Household Registration Office
R3.1 GayStarNews: Taiwanese court to hear same-sex household registration case 23 MAR 12
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HARASSMENT]
1.

National

In 2007, discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation became unlawful [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, MAY 09
Property Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 15 March 2017, the district court in northern Hsinchu was reported to have ordered a gay woman who married a man because of pressure from her family, to return around TW$500,000 ($16,130) to her husband after she left him for her girlfriend [R1.1].

R1.1 TheStar: Taiwan lesbian ordered to pay back groom 15 MAR 17
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

National

On 26 December 2014, the Ministry of the Interior reversed a 2008 administrative order, announcing that trans citizens will no longer be required to undergo surgery and extensive mental evaluation before having their gender legally recognized. In 2013 the Ministry of Health and Welfare decided to allow people to change their legal gender without transitioning [R1.4].

On 09 December 2013, the Ministry of Health and Welfare reportedly decided to allow people to change their legal gender without the need not go through any medical procedures, including psychiatric evaluation [R1.3].

On 07 August 2013, the Interior Ministry announced that the marriage license of transgender couple Abbygail Wu and Ji-yi Wu should remain valid. The Wus both transitioned from male to female in July last year [R1.2].

On 12 July 2013, Abbygail Wu and Chih-yi Wu, a male to female transgender couple who legally married in October 2012 before one of them sought recognition of her new gender, plan to take the Taiwanese Government to court after the Interior Ministry cancelled their marriage license [R1.1].

R1.4 TheAdvocate: Taiwan Removes Surgical Barriers to Trans Citizens' Legal Recognition 27 DEC 14
R1.3 GayStarNews: Taiwan to allow legal gender changes without transitioning 09 DEC 13
R1.2 GayStarNews: Taiwan: same-sex transgender marriage can stay 07 AUG 13
R1.1 GayStarNews: Same-sex transgender couple plan to sue over revoked marriage license in Taiwan 12 JUL 13

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Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 30 December 2016, Ministry of Health and Welfare reportedly published a draft regulation that listed conversion therapy as a prohibited treatment and would punish any physician who used the therapy to treat a patient. Members of the public will have the opportunity to offer their opinions of the draft regulation for 60 days, after which the ministry will issue a regulation based on the draft. Under the Physicians Act, doctors who engage in prohibited treatments are subject to fines of between NT$100,000 (US$3,095) to NT$500,000 and may be suspended for one month to one year [R1.1].

R1.1 FocusTaiwan 02 January 2016 Conversion therapy to be prohibited by regulation 02 JAN 17
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MILITARY]
1.

National

Taiwan government policy bans foreign citizens infected by HIV [R1.1].

According to the amended AIDS Prevention Regulation (APR), expelled foreigners can make a plea to the Department of Health (DOH), and theoretically, the deported would have the chance to re-enter Taiwan.

However, in a recent case the Center of Disease Control, which comes under the DOH, denied they had jurisdiction to consider such applications.


In November 2010, government officials were reported to have disclosed information about the HIV statuses of citizens drafted into the military, contrary the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act [R1.2].

R1.1 IGLHRC: Protest Ban on HIV-Positive Foreigners 06 DEC 01
R1.2 HIVPLUS.com: Taiwanese Government Workers Breach HIV Privacy Law 08 NOV 10
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 26 December 2016, a Parliamentary Committee (Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee) reportedly passed amendments to include same-sex marriage in the Civil Code and regulate their rights and duties. The passage of the amendments is the first step in legalising same-sex marriage. Article 972 will add the paragraph stating ''an agreement to marry between people of the same-sex shall be made by two parties involved'' [R1.12].

On 08 November 2016, two draft amendments to Taiwan's Civil Code that are aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage passed their first reading at the Legislative Yuan. Clearing a first reading means only that the draft amendments have been announced and then sent to the Legislature's Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee for discussion. The amendments still have to pass second and third readings before becoming law [R1.11].

On 24 October 2016, ten legislators of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced a proposal to legalise same-sex marriage by amending Article 972 of the Civil Code, changing the description for those who make commitments to marry from the current 'man and woman' (or male and female parties) to 'the two parties'. The amendment reportedly has the endorsement of 33 DPP legislators [R1.10].

On 15 August 2016, the Taipei City Zhongzhang District Household Registration Office refused the application of Lu to register her same-sex marriage on the grounds that it ''violated public order and morality to the extent that jeopardizes domestic private law and stability of daily life''. Lu lawfully married her partner in South Africa and had her marriage certificate authenticated by the Taipei Liaison Office in Pretoria [R1.9].

On 01 January 2013, the first legislative hearing was reported to have discussed possible same-sex marriage equality. The current proposal changes only articles 972, 973 and 980 of the Civil Code, altering the words from 'male' and 'female' to gender-neutral language [R1.8].

On 25 July 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that same-sex spouses of diplomats posted to the country are not entitled to full diplomatic immunity and other privileges in Taiwan currently enjoyed by their straight counterparts [R1.7].

Before May 2007, marriage between two individuals under Taiwanese civil law reportedly would immediately take effect as long as there was a public ceremony with two witnesses [R2.1].

In September 2003, the Taiwan government was reportedly drafting legislation to abolish the death penalty and legitimise gay marriages [R1.6] however, introduction of the legislation was delayed, possibly because the government feared a backlash in the run-up to next year's presidential elections [R1.5].

As at July 2003, the Taiwanese government did recognize same-sex marriages, either of its own citizens or of foreign nationals in the country [R1.4].

In October 2000, Chinese gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei requested that the ROC Council of Grand Justice in Taiwan offer a justification for their refusal to grant Chi a wedding licence [R1.3].

On 10 November 1996, Taiwan saw its first public gay wedding. Author Hsu You-sheng married his longtime American boyfriend, Gray Harriman [R1.2].

In September 1996, Chen Shui-bian, the mayor of Taiwan's capital, reportedly would officiate at a November wedding of two gay men [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 24 March 2017, the Constitutional Court began hearing the landmark case that could make the island the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage [R2.9].

On 15 March 2017, the district court in northern Hsinchu was reported to have ordered a gay woman who married a man because of pressure from her family, to return around TW$500,000 ($16,130) to her husband after she left him for her girlfriend [R2.8].

On 10 February 2017, the 15-member Constitutional Court reportedly scheduled 24 March to hear pioneering gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei's petition for a judgment on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage [R2.7].

On 27 March 2014, the Taipei High Administrative Court rejected the appeal of a gay couple Chi Chia-wei and his partner against a government agency for refusing to register their marriage [R2.6].

On 23 January 2013, Chen Ching-Hsueh and his partner Kao Chih-wei announced their decision to withdraw their lawsuit for official recognition of their marriage [R2.5].

On 20 December 2012, the Taipei High Administrative Court, which had been scheduled to give a decision on the case of gay couple Chen Ching-Hsueh and his partner Kao Chih-wei on their appeal to have their marriage legally recognised, made no ruling, and instead sent the case on to the Grand Justices. The proceedings for a constitutional interpretation could take up to a year [R2.4].

Previously:

In December 2012, a court was expected to rule on gay couple Chen Ching-Hsueh and his partner Kao Chih-wei's appeal against a government agency's refusal to register their marriage [R2.3].

On 02 August 2012, Chen Ching-Hseuh (also known as Nelson Chen) and Kao Chih-Wei reportedly were back fighting to be the first legally-recognized same-sex marriage in Taiwan [R2.2].

On 20 April 2012, Taiwanese gay couple Chen Ching-Hseuh and Kao Chih-Wei were reported to have decided to temporarily suspend the legal fight to register their marriage after concerns from parents and relatives over potential changes to inheritance entitlements [R2.1].

1. National
R1.12 PinkNews: Same-sex marriage passes first hurdle in Taiwanese Legislature 26 DEC 16
R1.11 FocusTaiwan: Gay marriage amendments pass first legislative reading 08 NOV 16
R1.10 GayStarNews: Taiwan to consider legalising gay marriage with new proposed bill 24 OCT 16
R1.9 TheNewsLens: Same-Sex Couple Marriage Registration Rejected, Tsai's Commitment Questioned 01 SEP 16
R1.8 GayStarNews: Taiwan moves on gay marriage 01 JAN 13
R1.7 PinkNews: Taiwan denies gay foreign diplomats immunity for their spouses
R1.6 Agence France-Presse: Taiwan Moves to Abolish Death Penalty, Legalise Gay Marriages 27 OCT 03
The Advocate: Taiwan May Legalize Gay Marriage 09 SEP 03
R1.5 Sydney Star Observer: "Taiwan Law Reform Shelved" 11 DEC 03
R1.4 Taipei Times: Pushing Toward a Broader Idea of Family 12 JUL 03
R1.3 Sydney Star Observer: Gay Marriage Demand in Taiwan 26 OCT 00
R1.2 Adelaide Gay Times: First Public Gay Wedding in Taiwan 06 DEC 96
R1.1 Melbourne Star Observer: Mayor to Oversees Gay Marriage 27 SEP 96
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.9 News24: Taiwan court hears landmark gay marriage case 24 MAR 17
R2.8 TheStar: Taiwan lesbian ordered to pay back groom 15 MAR 17
R2.7 TheChinaPost: Same-sex marriage hinges on grand justices' ruling 11 FEB 17
R2.6 The Standard: Taiwan court rejects gay couple's appeal 28 MAR 14
R2.5 The China Post: Same-sex couple withdraws recognition suit 24 JAN 13
R2.4 PinkNews: Taiwan: 'Milestone' equal marriage case sent to top court 20 DEC 12
R2.3 The Bangkok Post: Taiwan court to rule on 'milestone' gay marriage case 29 NOV 12
R2.2 GayStarNews: Gay couple in Taiwan continue fight for marriage recognition 02 AUG 12
R2.1 GayStarNews: Taiwanese gay couple suspends registration fight 20 APR 12
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In November 2010, government officials were reported to have disclosed information about the HIV statuses of citizens drafted into the military, contrary the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act [R1.2].

In 2002, the military police said they would revise a rule which excludes homosexual conscripts from serving as guards at the Presidential Office and other vital governmental buildings [R1.1].

R1.2 HIVPLUS.com: Taiwanese Government Workers Breach HIV Privacy Law 08 NOV 10
R1.1 Taipei Times: Military Police to Accept Gays 02 MAY 02
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In June 2001, an official at the Ministry of Justice announced consideration of a plan to allow gay and lesbian couples to establish families and adopt children, according to a report in the Taipei Times [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 13 March 2015, the Shihlin District Court rejected the adoption application of “Ta Kuei” and “Chou Chou” (pseudonyms) who have been together for about 15 years. One of them gave birth to two children in Canada via artificial insemination. The decision cited Taiwan's Civil Code, which defines spousal and marital statuses as a union between a man and a woman, and that “diverse family formations” have yet to garner approval by society and the children would likely be negatively impacted by the experience of growing up in an unconventional family [R2.1].

R1.1 Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network: Taiwan Advances Gay Rights 28 JUN 01
R2.1 FocusTaiwan: Same-sex couple's adoption bid rejected: report 13 MAR 15

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