TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 26 (UPI) — The city of Taipei, Taiwan, issued same-sex partnership certificates after a weekend of protests and counter protests.
Certificates of evidence of a same-sex relationship, typically used for family care leave or for medical treatment consent, have been in use in Taiwan since 2015. But last week, the national legislature, called the Legislative Yuan, voted to amend the country’s civil code to make the certificates credit-card sized and easier to carry.
The vote is seen as a step toward same-sex marriage in Taiwan.
Thousands of protesters gathered outside of the Legislative Yuan, along with counter protesters supporting same-sex relationships. The two sides remained separated by police.
Same-sex partners in Taiwan are currently barred from marrying, although the Legislative Yuan could return to the issue next year. Taipei and Kaohsiung are the only cities in the country currently offering the certificates.
“I am actually very worried about the future, because a country should be based on a system of one male one female, one husband one wife. This has been our basic national construction for a long time,” one unidentified opponent of the revised law said at the demonstration, EuroNews reported Monday.
The new certificates began their circulation on Monday, when seven qualified couples applied, the city’s Department of Civil Affairs said. Since the registration of same-sex partnerships began, 272 couples have received certificates, according to Taipei government statistics.