Taiwanese man to wed British man despite 51-year age difference

A Taiwanese man will marry a British man 51 years his senior in a ceremony to be held in Miaoli County tomorrow, February 16.

Twenty-four-year-old Ethan Zhao (趙守泉), and 75-year-old Andrew (Andy) Goodier met in London three years ago, and have been in love ever since, according to reports in the local Taiwan press.

In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional, and ordered the government to amend legislation within two years of the ruling, in order to align the marriage laws with the constitution. However, to this date, same sex marriage has not been legalized in Taiwan.

Not to let distance, age, nor the impasse in the Taiwan legislature impede them, Zhao and Goodier plan to register their marriage in the UK, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2014, and the couple plans to live.

Andy and Zhao wedding photo
As is the norm in Taiwan, Andy and Ethan had wedding photos taken before the formal ceremony.

Zhao’s parents divorced when he was a child and he was brought up by his father, with whom he is very close.

Zhao was anxious about how his 54-year-old father, who comes from a large, traditional family, would react, when he found out that not only was his son gay, but intended to marry a foreigner 51-years his senior.

The pressure caused Zhao to suffer from insomnia for several months, according to New Talk.

However, while Zhao had not come out to his father about his sexuality, his father had a vague idea, and was quite open-minded when Zhao told him of his wedding plans.

“I have three sons, anyway,” Mr Zhao senior said. “If you can’t carry on the ancestral line, it doesn’t matter.”

Mr Zhao told his son not to worry about what other people think, and took the initiative to begin organizing the ceremony himself, according to a United Daily News report.

Apple Daily reports that the couple will appear in formal attire at the Railway Heritage Museum next to the Miaoli Railway Station tomorrow at 3:00pm for photographs, and to receive blessings from the public, who are encouraged to bring a flower to show their support.

Andy and Zhao wedding photo with Zhao in a bathtub

While same-sex marriage is legal in the United Kingdom, the threshold for accepting a foreign spouse is high, requiring financial deposits or an annual income of more than NT$1 million.

Meeting the financial threshold provides a challenge for the retired mechanical engineer and his post-graduate student partner.

By holding a big, public ceremony in Taiwan, the couple hopes to provide proof that they are really a married couple to the British bureaucrats.

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3 thoughts on “Taiwanese man to wed British man despite 51-year age difference

  • February 18, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Disgusting. That foreign pervert is 20 years older than his brides father!!

  • March 12, 2019 at 6:12 am

    This is disgusting . Must be for the money. Shameful.

  • March 19, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    On 15 March 2019 draft enforcement act of Referendum No. 12 enshrines same-sex kinship advanced to a 2nd reading in Taiwan Legislative Yuan. The draft enforcement act of Referendum No.12 was passed after garnering 6.4 million “yes” votes and 4.07 million “no” votes on Nov. 24 last year (2018). The draft enforcement act of Referendum No. 12 refers to parents (1st generation) jointly grant kinship to the same-sex couple (2nd generation). The enforcement act was derived from Article 1,123 of the Civil Code, which states that “a person who is not born (branching out from the family tree) is granted the status of the next of kin, an in-law of a family.”

    The draft enforcement act of Referendum No. 12 gives gay couples legal protection – but not allowed to get married.

    BBC 25 Nov 2018

    Drawing up a separate law to extend kinship to same-sex couples is an approach that is born out of all Chinese ethnics.
    In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court said that the current law covering marriage discriminated against same-sex couples. The court gave the island’s legislature two years to amend existing laws or pass new legislation to legalize same-sex unions. While Referendum No. 10 after garnering 7,658,008 votes restricts marriage under Civil Code to one male and one female, Referendum No. 12 provides legal recognition to same-sex unions. Draft enforcement act of Referendum No. 12 will be implemented without prejudice to Referendum No. 10.

    Taipei Times 16 March 2019


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