What you need to know
A daily breakdown of Taiwan's top stories and why they matter.
Canadian diplomat and LGBT+ advocate Michael McCulloch told CNA Taiwan’s move to legalize gay marriage, via a newly submitted draft bill, is a global victory – but a challenge from opponents of same-sex marriage has emerged within Taiwan’s legislature.
McCulloch, who is the director of general relations at the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei – Canada’s de facto embassy in Taiwan – called the draft legislation “a win for the people of the world,” comparing Taiwan’s long fight to legalize same-sex marriage to the process Canada went through between 2003 and 2005, when the North American country passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.
However, Mirror Media reported on Mar. 2 that groups opposed to marriage equality plan to propose legislation, titled “The Enforcement Act of Referendum No. 12,” that would define same-sex unions as non-marital relationships and limit such unions to citizens who are at least 20 years old. The draft bill is backed by 29 legislators, Mirror Media reports.
Referendum No. 12, which voters approved in November 2018, read: “Do you agree to types of unions, other than those stated in the marriage regulations in the Civil Code, to protect the rights of same-sex couples who live together permanently?”
The draft bill proposed on Feb. 21 by Taiwan’s cabinet, titled “The Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748” in reference to a May 2017 high court decision to protect same-sex marriages, does not alter Taiwan’s Civil Code, in theory complying with both the court ruling and the November 2018 referendum results.
However, groups opposed to same-sex marriage are sure to continue their fight until the bitter end.
Other news from Taiwan:
► Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to share its experience with the world as a victim of Chinese belligerence, citing malfeasance from Beijing such as buying off politicians and spreading “fake news.” (CNA)
► Taiwan’s Coast Guard has arrested a Philippine suspect accused of killing crewmates aboard a Taiwanese fishing vessel. A search for six Filipino and Indonesian crew members who remain missing after jumping overboard may be called off as 72 hours have passed, according to the Coast Guard. (Taipei Times)
► A couple from Singapore is being investigated by authorities in Taiwan for allegedly dumping the body of a baby in Taipei in a recycling bin. (Straits Times)
► Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) says a June 2017 tobacco tax hike has proven unpopular with the public and believes the government should act on the matter. (CNA)
► An investigation by the Chinese-language Liberty Times has revealed that most convenience store products claiming to contain fresh strawberries contain additives and no actual fruit. (Taipei Times)
Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)
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