Mon, Jan 28, 2013 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Support for gay rights

An article published by the Taipei Times reported on a gay couple who dropped their bid to register their marriage was very enlightening and revealed the status of gay rights in Taiwan (“Couple drop court appeal over gay marriage ban,” Jan. 24, page 2).

I believe the social activist who has admirably assisted the couple through their proceedings was mistaken when he said the couple was “compromising with the system by withdrawing the case.”

This couple should not be expected to champion marriage equality for the whole country, especially after receiving death threats. Even if they were empty threats, their safety is not guaranteed. I would not be surprised if there was no serious investigation into the threats they received.

This is not compromising; this is a step to ensure the safety of their loved ones.

At some point, someone will have to take a stand against the bullies for marriage equality to move forward.

However, for someone to do this, they should have as much support from their community and allies as they can have.

When Nelson Chen (陳敬學) was quoted as saying,“We are ready, but we don’t think society is ready yet,” this should indicate that not only is the opposition not ready to concede, but many allies of marriage equality are not ready to proceed.

How can this couple be accused of compromising when they do not have the confidence in the society their allies are a part of?

By bringing the issue to the administrative court, the couple attracted national attention for their cause and a new platform for debate.

There is not a shortage of opponents of marriage equality, so what is needed now is more proponents. By proponents I do not just mean more people from the gay community, but also individuals and groups who are not gay and believe in equal marriage rights.

In the US, the struggle for gay rights has lasted decades and has recently become a popular issue because of the gay community’s persistence and support from people and groups who support their rights.

US President Barack Obama’s recent inaugural address, in which he supported gay marriage, is a prime example of non-gay parties keeping the issue on the table and not allowing the opposition to let it fade away and out of our minds.

Many labor unions and progressive parties have been vocal in their support of gay marriage, which brings the movement more supporters to counter the numerous opponents.

There will always be people ready to fight against marriage equality. What proponents should be doing is becoming more active in gaining support from all people and groups who feel this injustice should be corrected.

With their backing, the gay community can feel confident that there are those in society who are ready to take on the opposition with them.

Liam Granfield

Hsinchu City

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