Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage | Mercer

Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage — a First in Asia

Our Thinking / Law and Policy Group /

Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage — a First in Asia
Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage — a First in Asia
Calendar28 May 2019

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage under a law (Chinese) that took effect on 24 May 2019. According to the law, same-sex marriage will have most of the rights and obligations of a marriage between a man and a woman, with the exception of co-adoption of a child and marriage to a foreign national. 

As a result, all employment-related laws that cover marriage and spouse will also apply to same-sex married couples after 24 May. Companies should be prepared to provide benefits to employees and also review internal diversity and inclusion policies to make relevant adjustments.

The law follows a May 2017 constitutional court decision that held same-sex couples have the right to legally marry and gave the government two years to make the needed legal changes. Taiwanese citizens rejected the legalization of same-sex marriage in three referendums held in 2018, but the government confirmed that it would proceed with legislation to implement the court decision.

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