Legislation for the rights of homosexuals is now sitting in the legislature, waiting to be added to the roster. There is already a consensus within Taiwan supporting same sex marriage. In a China Times opinion poll published in August 2012, 56 percent of respondents supported same-sex marriage, while 31 percent opposed it. In September of that same year, a survey conducted by the United Daily News showed similar results, with 55 percent and 37 percent respectively. In April last year a study carried out by Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology showed that 52.5 percent of respondents were in favor of same-sex marriage, compared with 30 percent against. These figures show that support for same-sex marriage was stronger than support for either former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) or incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the years that they were elected.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井) convenes the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee. Fellow KMT Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) sits on that committee too. I implore both of them to see to it that this piece of legislation finds its way onto the roster. In so doing, they could help consign this example of oppression and prejudice to history. At the very least, it will enable the issue to be openly debated. I ask them to not allow this prejudice to continue, to put an end to this tragic situation.
Shih Ming-te is chairman of the Shih Ming-te Foundation and a former Democratic Progressive Party chairman. He resigned from the DPP in November 2000.
Translated by Paul Cooper