Taiwan Edges Closer to Gay Marriage as Law Amendments Clear First Reading

Taiwan Edges Closer to Gay Marriage as Law Amendments Clear First Reading
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

Taiwan has edged closer to becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, after proposed amendments to marriage laws passed the first reading in its parliament today.

Draft amendments to the Civil Code regarding same-sex marriage passed the first reading in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan this afternoon.

Two drafts, proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Hsu Yu-jen (許毓仁), have now been handed over to the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee for review. A similar proposal by the New Power Party (NPP) is still pending.

Pressure has been mounting on Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration to progress same-sex marriage after Tsai used marriage equality as part of her campaign platform ahead of the January election.

On Oct. 25, legislator Yu proposed the draft amendment to legalize same-sex marriage. Taiwan’s executive branch of government – the Executive Yuan – has since said it will support legislation to allow same-sex marriage and marriage equality.

As it stands, Yu’s draft would change the marriage chapter of the Civil Code by replacing the term "male and female parties" to the term “the two parties.”

As of late last week, legislator Hsu anticipated the law change had the support of roughly half the votes in the legislature; with at least 11 KMT legislators joining all five legislators from the NPP in addition to some support from the DPP.

Yesterday, a group of parents with LGBT children protested in front of the Legislative Yuan in support of same-sex marriage. This morning, almost 100 mothers brought their children to the same location in a protest against same-sex marriage. The protestors held up signs that read, “Protect our children; Protect education,” and “Same-sex marriage destroys homes.”