Date: Mar 08, 2016
By: Huang Wen-huang, Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung / Staff reporters, with staff writer
Tainan has cried foul after the Ministry of the Interior announced an update to its online household registration system that prevents the city government from saving changes with the words “same-sex couples” or other key words.
The Tainan City Government said the ministry’s claims that the move was just a system upgrade required by technical issues was actually a major step back on human rights specifically targeting Tainan.
The governments of Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, Tainan and Chiayi have adopted an addendum to allow same-sex couples to exercise the same rights as family members in medical emergencies, such as signing surgery release forms and being allowed to visit hospitalized partners, by noting the partnerships on household registration records.
Same-sex marriage is not legal in Taiwan.
According to the Tainan City Government, the ministry informed it of an impending system update to incorporate additional checks on “personal affairs registration” that would impose error messages on any items that conflicted with legal regulations on what to be included in the household registration.
The ministry said that since same-sex marriages are not considered legal under the Civic Code (民法) and the Household Registration Act (戶籍法), registration of same-sex couples could not be completed. It said that it is simply following the law and is not trying to block the registrations by intentionally imposing extra technical hurdles. [FULL STORY]