Pingtung County's Hengchun Township began offering the first marriage subsidy in Taiwan two years ago. With the passage of the marriage equality draft bill recently, Hengchun has become the first township in Taiwan to also offer marriage subsidies to same-sex couples. Two couples have successfully applied for the subsidy so far.
A-Ping and her girlfriend are setting up their fried chicken stand in Chaozhou. They have been together for four years and opened the stand just last month. They hope to expand their business in the future. A-Ping, a Hengchun native, also wants to marry her girlfriend in her hometown so they can apply for the township's marriage subsidy.
I'm pretty surprised there are subsidies. I never thought (same-sex couples) would be eligible for subsidies when they get married. It's encouraging.
To encourage couples to get married and have children, Hengchun began offering a subsidy of NT$20,000 in 2017 to married couples who have registered their household in Hengchun for at least a year. Since the recent passage of the marriage equality draft bill, two same-sex couples have successfully applied for the subsidy. The township office says it believes in marriage equality.
It isn't stipulated anywhere whether same-sex couples are or are not eligible (for the marriage subsidy). Their rights -- as long as they are Hengchun residents and married, they are eligible.
I support it. As long as the government has made it legal, we of course support it.
The issue is hotly debated locally. Some say granting the subsidy to same-sex couples contradicts the purpose of the subsidy, which is to encourage couples to have children. However, most support equality. Township officials say same-sex couples are also eligible for its birth subsidies, which max out at NT$110,000, as long as current autonomous regulations don't change.
恆春鎮民 阿屏表示：「有補助的話，我是覺得滿驚訝的，因為沒想到說， 去登記還可以拿到補助款，但是就是有一種，好像是那種鼓勵的感覺。」
恆春鎮長 盧玉棟表示：「沒有說，沒有註明說，男男配、女女配不能給 ，或是能給，所以基於他們是恆春的鎮民，他們的權利的話，所以他結婚的話，我們應該是給。」