Taiwan Same-Sex Marriage Supporters and Opponents Agree to Talks

Taiwan Same-Sex Marriage Supporters and Opponents Agree to Talks
Photo Credit: AP / 達志影像

What you need to know

LGBT rights activists worry that amendments to the Civil Code will be further delayed despite the discussions.

Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage have agreed to participate in a joint discussion to be set up by Taiwan Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), following separate meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Feb. 18.

During the two meetings, Tsai stressed that more public discussion was needed on the issue of same-sex marriage.

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Draft amendments to Taiwan's Civil Code, proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and which would legalize same-sex marriage, passed a legislative committee review on Dec. 26, despite continued protests from some conservative and religious groups. The bill still has to pass a third reading to become law, which is expected to be held by the end of April or early May.

However, Tsai said that although draft amendments to the Civil Code were already being studied by the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan's parliament, there was still time for further discussion on the legalization of same-sex marriage, Taiwan's Apple Daily reports.

Meanwhile, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who has suggested separate legislation for same-sex marriage, said on Feb. 19 that the third reading of draft amendments to the Civil Code would have to wait until after a constitutional interpretation of the marriage law by the Council of Grand Justices on March 24, Apple Daily reports.

LGBT rights groups held a press conference after the meeting, calling for Tsai to reject proposals for separate same-sex marriage legislation and stressing the role of the government in upholding LGBT rights, United Daily News reports.

The executive director for the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy, Tsai Shang-wen (蔡尚文), said that amending the Civil Code was the most straightforward method to achieve marriage equality and the group would not accept discriminatory special legislation for same-sex marriage, CNA reports.

DPP legislator Chao Tien-Lin (趙天麟), who supports drafting separate legislation to regulate same-sex marriage, told Apple Daily that he would wait for the result of the constitutional interpretation before submitting his draft for a separate same-sex marriage law.

Editor: Edward White