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Transgender Couple in Taiwan Protest Annulment of their Marriage

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Yi Ting, left, and Chih Yi, right. (Photo/Wang Yuan-mao)


TAIWAN – A marriage between two transgender people in Taiwan may be annulled as the government refuses to recognize a marriage between two people officially registered as female.

Yi Ting and Chih Yi both underwent male-to-female reassignment surgery last year, after which Yi Ting was the first to apply to officially change her gender to female. She then married her partner Chih Yi, who was still officially registered as a man.

Chih recently applied to the local household affairs agency to change the gender registration on her identification card to female. The agency referred the case to the Ministry of the Interior, who told the municipal government agency to revoke their marriage registration, as the couple cannot legally maintain their marital status as two women. Taiwan’s civil code states that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman.

At a press conference on July 11, the couple, accompanied by a legislator, questioned the right of the government to invalidate their legally registered marriage, asking whether gender should take precedence over the value of marriage.

They have called on the Ministry of the Interior to review its decision and bring plurality to gender values in teh country. They have also threatened to appeal the case or file a lawsuit to safeguard their human rights.

Su Ching-chao, deputy direct of the household affairs department at the Ministry of the Interior, said that Yi and Chih were both physically female at the time that they were married and that female-female marriage is invalid under the civil code.

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