Considering principles of equality to be universal

By Teng Hon-yuan 鄧鴻源  / 

Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - Page 8

On Saturday last week, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) posted a Facebook message saying that the Stability Power Alliance, which has mounted a campaign to recall him from office, had sent people to shout slogans outside his home and harass his family.

Huang slammed the behavior, saying it was “really going too far,” adding that he would never submit to such malicious measures.

Alliance chairman Sun Chi-cheng (孫繼正) said Huang’s accusation was ridiculous, saying that the group does not even know where he lives.

However, Huang posted a reply contradicting Sun’s claim, a screenshot of a news report with the title: “Huang Kuo-chang recall campaigners collect signatures next to Huang’s home,” and he told the group to stop lying.

“In May this year, media owned by the Want Want China Times Group published this news report as free publicity for the Stability Power Alliance. It clearly demolishes the alliance’s version of events, does it not?” he wrote.

The alliance is a nationwide political organization launched by right-wing Christian churches. Its main founders were Christian supporters of the Faith and Hope League, who first set up its predecessors, the Greater Taipei Stability Power Alliance and Tainan Stability Power Alliance.

The group’s activities aim mainly to recall legislators who support marriage equality, and it is currently conducting recall initiatives against Huang and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇).

The NPP’s founding declaration should be considered: That everyone in Taiwan has the rights to basic human dignity, to pursue their dreams, defend their happiness and equal status, and to take part in politics and make their own decisions with a sense of identity and belonging as citizens.

The NPP says it wants a Taiwan that everyone admires and that everyone can be proud of.

The NPP calls for equality of the sexes and for everyone’s right to pursue happiness.

However, the Stability Power Alliance is only interested in the “right” to interfere in other people’s freedom of speech in the name of “stability.”

This kind of behavior is reminiscent of the approach favored by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) under martial law, which it imposed on Taiwan from 1949 to 1987.

KMT members and supporters lauded the benefits of martial law, such as that it ensured social “stability.”

It ignored that many people suffered political oppression under former presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). It glossed over atrocities such as the 228 Incident in 1947, the White Terror of the 1950s and the Kaohsiung Incident in 1989, not to mention the murders of pro-democracy lawyer Lin I-hsiung’s (林義雄) family in 1980, and the killing of democracy advocate Chen Wen-cheng (陳文成) in 1981.

What better word is there to describe the KMT than “hypocrites?”

By opposing the proposed marriage equality law, the Stability Power Alliance openly defines itself as an enemy of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Does that mean that LGBT people should follow the group’s example by holding protests in front of its headquarters or its chairman’s home?

The Stability Power Alliance needs to think long and hard about the universal principle: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Deng Hong-yuan is an associate professor at Aletheia University.

Translated by Julian Clegg