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Hualien welcomes LGBTQ+ couples to join mass weddings

Reporter Huang-Chi Ho
Release time:2023/11/22 19:01
Last update time:2023/11/22 19:01
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Hualien welcomes LGBTQ+ couples to join mass weddings (Courtesy of Shutterstock) Hualien welcomes LGBTQ+ couples to join mass weddings
Hualien welcomes LGBTQ+ couples to join mass weddings (Courtesy of Shutterstock)

HUALIEN (TVBS News) — Hualien County Magistrate Hsu Chen-wei on Tuesday (Nov. 21) welcomed all forms of partnership to participate in the county's mass wedding ceremonies, signaling inclusivity for LGBTQ+ couples.

The statement was made at the County Council in response to a councilor's doubts about the inclusivity of the Hualien government in terms of holding wedding ceremonies. These ceremonies, organized by the Hualien County Government each spring and autumn, have been an ongoing tradition for 16 consecutive years.

 

However, after the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan in 2019, concerns were raised by Hualien County Councilor Wang Hua-mei regarding the use of gender-specific terms such as "bride" and "groom" on registration forms.

Wang noted that although the terms have been updated to "newlyweds" on the application forms, a September reply from the Hualien Civil Affairs Department suggested that the event aimed to encourage childbirth to address the population decline, implying an exclusion of same-sex couples for not contributing to this goal.

This response, as reported by Wang, evoked a backlash, leading to an inquiry wherein a Civil Affairs Department representative reportedly stated they did not welcome the participation of LGBTQ+ couples due to their inability to increase the birth rate. Wang condemned this reasoning, advocating for equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation.
 

In light of these accusations, Ming Liang-chen, director of the Civil Affairs Department, clarified there was no refusal to include any group in the mass wedding events. Hsu reiterated this statement, ensuring that inclusivity is upheld.

Despite the years following the legalization of same-sex marriage, the controversy highlights residual resistance, as predecessors like former Hualien Magistrate Fu Kun-chi have openly opposed same-sex marriage.

LGBTQ+ organizations are now urging the county government to respect gender diversity and honor the legal rights guaranteed for same-sex marriage.

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#Hualien County Magistrate#mass wedding ceremonies#LGBTQ+ couples#same-sex marriage#gender-specific terms#population decline#inclusivity#gender-specific terms on registration forms#legal rights of same-sex marriage

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