Tseng Tzu-wen, who is the director-general of Kaohsiung's civil affairs bureau, said: 'Kaohsiung City, to show respect and good will toward pluralist culture, will allow those from the community to mark their partner in its household registration and conscription information system for the consolations of hearts before laws are revised.'
Residents will be able to register with their identity cards and proof of relationship but Tzu-wen admitted that it was mainly symbolic as the civil code only recognizes marriage as between a man and woman. She described them as 'sunlight registrations.'
The idea is that the registration will mean that public services, including the police, hospitals and the justice system who access household registrations, will go to partners as legal representatives for their spouses. One such application would be informing them of arrest or giving consent for emergency surgery.
However, the Taiwan LGBT Rights Advocacy called a press conference on Tuesday in which they dismissed the idea that the new notation would allow the community to gain more respect legally and in city affairs. Chen Chih-ming, a spokesman for the group, described this positive reaction as 'not true.' He went on to say the registrations were not 'sunshine making' but 'closet marking' and that the move was to 'make fun of' the community.
Chen also noted that after asking the city government, it learned that the information will have no legal affect in any medical institutions. Furthemore, Chen pointed out that only in Taipei and Taoyuan are members of the LGBT community allowed to take part in mass weddings even though the CIvil Code was revised in 2007 to position mass weddings as a blessing from the city government.
Tseng Tzu-wen responded to the group's complaints by pledging to work harder to give the measure a legal basis, as the nation's Civil Code still only recognizes heterosexual marriages. She said that the registrations were a 'friendly gesture.'