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12 Apr 2012

Mothers of Taiwanese gay couple appear in court to show support

The mothers of Chen Jing-hsueh and Gao Jhih-wei – a gay couple who filed a legal petition to seek legal recognition of their marriage  appeared in court on Wednesday with their sons for the first time, and spoke to the media about accepting and supporting their sons' sexuality and decision to be married.

Chen Jing-hsueh (second from left) and Gao Jhih-wei and their mothers 
posing with the family tree of Chen's family with the couple included.

Last week, Fridae reported that Chen Jing-hsueh and Gao Jhih-wei decided to take legal action after their appeal to the Taipei City Government to have their marriage registered at the Taipei City Zhongshan District Household Registration Office last year was unsuccessful.

The couple had already held a public wedding ceremony in 2006 to celebrate their marriage.

They filed a lawsuit in August 2011 and named the Taipei City Zhongshan District Household Registration Office as the defendant in the court case. The case was first heard on 27 March 2012 during which an officer representing the Household Registration Office denied having made any mistake in rejecting the couple’s application.

Chen, Gao and their respective mothers appeared in court for the first time on April 10 for a preparatory session.

When asked by judge Chen Xin Hong (陳心弘) for the basis for the couple's rights, Chen's lawyer Jerry Kuo-Cheng Huang (黃國城) told the court that the constitution protects the right to freedom to marry.

Throughout the court session the couple held hands but did not present any statements. They gave a thank-you speech, thanking their families and all who showed concern for the case, and the judges. They vowed to "live on happily".

The judge asked that they control their emotions in court, but added: "Happiness and bliss should happen in homes/families, whereas here in the court of law, I too wish to give your marriage my highest respects, and wish you will continue to enjoy that happiness." He then announced the courts will commence open hearing on 15 May.

Chen's mother said in a TV interview that she had struggled for 10 years after learning that her son was gay. "It was heartbreaking and painful at the beginning, but now I have overcome these feelings and I'm happy to have a daughter-in-law, or a new son." 

Echoing Chen's mother, Kao's mother said she decided to stand up to help gay people gain their rights.

Gao's mother said, although her son has been married five years, neighbours and relatives still do not know. She added: "Seeing your own child being prejudiced by soociety, and living a difficult life, today Chen stands up to demand protection for the rights of Gao, and he has put in a lot of effort in this fight. This is my own child, and I must step forward to support him, and give him my blessings."



Reader's Comments

1. 2012-04-12 21:41  
Huge, huge ))))HUGS(((( to these wonderful moms! Family and social pressure against parents of gay children is immense in the Far East -- we have our religious nut jobs in the US (where I'm from) and that can get pretty bad, but parents of gay kids in the US can find support much more easily than over here.

Supportive parents like this are rare. Really nice to hear of some parents who get it!
2. 2012-04-13 01:46  
good luck.
3. 2012-04-13 01:54  
Glad to know that these mothers are supporting their sons. But where is that free China that father used to mention? If Taiwan wants to shows the World that there is a kind of freedom they should support this couple.
4. 2012-04-13 04:12  
It's always mothers, rarely fathers, did you notice?
5. 2012-04-13 04:17  
Honestly, as Chinese, and for a traditional Chinese family, supporting by parents is rare and hard.

Nowadays, Chinese youngsters in the generations are basically only-child, all parents treat their only-child as a precious. I don't think there are any parents would truly wish their only-son is gay or truly can accept it at the first, including western parents. It's not only because of it's hard to accept, but also they might worry and feel sad to their son because the gay road is not that easy to walk on, and their son will be definetely destined to be different to other children.

They may don't wish, don't want, and don't like this happens on their son, but some parents respect their son, and eventually accept or even support him. Why? Because THEY DON'T HAVE A CHOICE, although they may don't like it, what can they do? They know they can't change anything. The only thing they can do is supporting their son to keep going on the way.

In my personal opinion, I sincerely understand all parents, including those too conservative parents. Who don't want their child can be like other children to walk on an easy way, and who don't want their child can ba happy without hurt? So, sometimes we also should change our standpoint to think about this for parents when we think about ourselves. They are not easy indeed.

And for me, I love my mom more than anyone else in this big world.
Comment edited on 2012-04-13 04:52:52
6. 2012-04-13 10:31  
Being a gay Asian boy is hard in general, I just don't think it is exclusive to Chinese. Hell, being a gay boy is hard enough, but when you're Asian, you have high standards and expectations from your parents, and it really does suck that you can't meet those and you know deep down that you never will.
7. 2012-04-13 11:14  

Really admire their courage and open-minded mothers!
8. 2012-04-13 12:51  
They are so blessed with their parents' support and love. Wonderful. Hope they will have a victory in their case in court soon.
9. 2012-04-13 18:24  
Go moms!
10. 2012-04-13 19:45  
they may have appeared in support but they sure as hell don't look happy!!! lol
11. 2012-04-14 16:55  
12. 2012-04-14 17:42  
This is what i call "unconditional positive regard" they still love their son even they are gay ... this is what gay lesbain people need.... an acknowledgement and support from their family especially parents ^^ good job moms
13. 2012-04-14 18:11  
taiwanese is one of those country who really open to LGBT. go mommy go~
14. 2012-04-15 01:52  
Hooray for supportive mothers!
15. 2012-04-16 08:03  
Loving your mother doesn't mean you should accept her homophobic attitude, regardless whether you are gay or straight. What happens if your mother has racist ideas? What if she is "pro-life"? Do you think bigotry is ok simply because you know the bigot personally? People keep thinking about themselves. Gay rights are not just about you and your parents. Even if you are happy to be a second class citizen, and you don't want to challenge your parents' bigotry, there are other gays who care and they should be treated equally by society and law. My parents support the Chinese occupation in Tibet, and there's no way I will go along with that. What a distorted logic displayed by some people here. They think they are "selfless" by going along with one person's bigotry, even though by doing that they are effectively part of the conservatism that oppresses millions of others.
Comment edited on 2012-04-16 08:17:35
16. 2012-04-16 23:25  
17. 2012-04-17 21:17  
ho hoh ha

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