Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sex change causes stir over legality of marriage

A participant at the LGBT parade in Taipei last year
'In the eyes of government officials, gender is far more important than the value of marriage and family' 

Academics are accusing the government of basic human rights violations after the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) earlier this year stripped a transgender couple of their legally married status, in a case that raises fundamental questions about the meaning of marriage. 

Prior to getting married in October, Abbygail Wu (吳伊婷), 27, and her partner, Jiyi Wu (吳芷儀), 29, obtained the necessary papers by registering with government authorities to obtain their marriage certificate. In their application, Jiyi Wu applied as the “husband” in the couple, while Abbygail Wu did so as the “wife.” Two months earlier, the Wus had undergone sex changes, or “gender reassignment surgery,” to tranform them from men into women. However, when earlier this year Jiyi Wu applied for legal status as a woman, the Taipei City Household Registration Office noticed some “irregularities” and turned to the city’s Department of Civil Affairs, which in turn requested input from the ministry. 

In the end, the ministry revoked the marriage certificate and stated that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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