Gay marriage


Hello all,

Can 2 men get maried in Taiwan?

If the answer is ‘no’, will Taiwan recognize a legal marriage between 2 men in another country.

The background is: I am dutch and have been in a relationship for 3 years with a Taiwanese guy. We have lived together in my country (where we met) and recently we moved back to Taiwan.

We want to get married, can we do this in Taiwan?

If we cannot we will go back to the Netherlands (where they have recently changed their laws completely regarding gay marriage. The Netherlands recently became the first country in the world that recognizes a gay marriage the same as a non-gay marriage. This includes rights to adoption, inheritance etc etc.)

However, would Taiwan recognize this marriage as being legal, and accord me (the foreigner) the same rights to residency as for example a foreigner and a Taiwanese man/woman??

dutch guy

PS. This is not a flame:-)


See related comments at

Q: Can two men get married in Taiwan?
A: Not to my knowledge.

Q: Will Taiwan recognize a legal marriage between two men in another country?
A: Not to my knowledge.

If either of the above were possible, I am sure that I would have heard of it.

Additionally, I would state that Taiwan has no legal precedent in this area.


Dear Richard,

Thanks for your reply.

Do you know if there is a law in Taiwan that specifically says that ‘2 men cannot legally get maried?’

If this is not the case, it would be a ‘grey area’, which means that my application could become a test case?



The ROC Civil Law only discusses marriage in terms of the union of “male” and “female”. That is specifically noted in articles 972, 973, and 980.


Dear Richard,

Thanks for the reply and the detailed refernce, I was hoping that the Taiwan law was not be quite so specific, but alas.

Well, it will be a trip to the Netherlands, and then we will see what happens when I apply for residency as a foreign spouse:-)



Dutch Boy, please let us know what happens. I am very curious since I am in the same situation.


Yes - please post updates when possible! I find the Taiwanese authorities can be rather flexible about interpreting the laws, BUT ONLY if you present your case in a “chinese manner”, i.e. low-profile, well-intentioned, harmless to others. i believe using a “western style” (seeking publicity, trying to set a precedent for others to follow,) will probably lead to failure.

If I remember correctly, there was a legal gay marriage in Taipei about 2yrs ago…it was publicized because the Taiwan guy is well-known on TV. His partner is a foreigner and they’ve been together in Taiwan for many years. Taipei’s Mayor (now the President) even indicated he would attend, but he sent a representative instead at the last minute. Wish I could remember more details…

Good luck, and I wish you happiness regardless of the outcome!

Best Regards,


The marriage Mike’s remembering was back in November 1996, between novelist Hsu Yu-shen and Gray Harriman. I don’t think the authorities ended up recognizing it as legal; but the ceremony certainly had all the usual trappings. There’s more information at

Good luck.


I found another mention of the situation in Taiwan at

This article mentions the 1996 wedding (which the couple apparently didn’t even try to register with the authorities) spells the names differently:
Hsi You-sheng (