Sat, Sep 21, 2013 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Homophobia is intolerable

I was disturbed to read of some Taiwanese religious leaders speaking out against same-sex marriage (“Same-sex marriage criticized,” Sept. 19, page 2). The claims they make about same-sex marriage and homosexuality are not only ridiculous, they are a form of hate speech.

The homophobic views being promoted by these religious organizations create hatred and division within society. They cause real harm to gay people who are the target of their attacks.

Fortunately not all religious groups in Taiwan share these extreme views. However, it is important that they condemn the words of these so-called religious leaders. A clear message needs to be sent that preaching homophobia is totally unacceptable.

David Reid

Taradale, Australia

I want dual citizenship

I love Taiwan. I really do! It is a great democratic nation with friendly people and a rich culture. I even like stinky tofu, but only the fried type! I like it so much I’ve decided to settle down here and live here for the rest of my life with my family. I have a Taiwanese wife with a baby on the way, have a full-time job, started a small business, bought a house here and am learning Chinese too. There is only one thing that bothers me: how I will never be able to become a full citizen of Taiwan and proudly be Taiwanese.

Why would I want to be a citizen of Taiwan? Well I would like to vote here and be recognized as a citizen. My wife and child are Taiwanese, so why can’t I? I want to be a part of the society that my daughter will grow up in, where I own property and where I will live. It does not sound that crazy, does it?

Some of you may say that it is possible for me to become a citizen of Taiwan and get a passport here. Yes, that is true, if I renounce the citizenship of the country I was born in. Now, I plan to live in Taiwan for the next 20 to 50 years, but I still really love the country I grew up in. Why should I have to give that up? Can I not be a citizen of both?

It really bothers me that Taiwanese can live in Canada their whole lives, but still are able to come back every four years and vote for a president. I have a greater interest in the welfare of this country because I am a full-time resident of Taiwan and chose to live here with my family.

I hope the laws can be changed so that it might be made more reasonable for foreigners to obtain citizenship and integrate into this society. We are not going anywhere any time soon; we are marrying Taiwanese, making babies and buying property here. Some of us are here to stay. So can we please be Taiwanese too?

I know some of you may thinking to yourselves: “You’re not Taiwanese! You don’t even speak Taiwanese.” I have rectified that and have started learning Taiyu (台語) as well.

Elias Gasparis

New Taipei City

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