Any law that follows from the passage of referendums initiated by groups opposed to same-sex marriage cannot contradict the Council of Grand Justices’ Interpretation No. 748, as it came from the highest ranks of the legal hierarchy, the Judicial Yuan said yesterday.
Interpretations from the grand justices have equal legal weight as the Constitution, Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Lu Tai-lang (呂太郎) told a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee in Taipei.
Although two referendums were passed that oppose amending the Civil Code to allow for same-sex marriage, the Legislative Yuan cannot pass laws that oppose the interpretation, Lu said.
Photo: Wu Cheng-feng, Taipei Times
The decision delivered on May 24 last year states that provisions in the Civil Code that define marriage as between a man and a woman contravene the Constitution, and required that new regulations be introduced within two years to protect marriage equality.
All three referendums initiated by the Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation were passed on Saturday.
They proposed excluding education about gay people from elementary and junior-high schools, restricting the Civil Code’s definition of marriage to a union between a man and woman, and drafting a separate law to protect same-sex marriage.
Two referendums supporting the inclusion of same-sex marriage in the Civil Code and the teaching of gender-equality education in elementary and junior-high schools were rejected.
Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka on Sunday said that the government would draft a separate law in three months to extend equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Separately yesterday, Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) on the sidelines of the opening of a film festival in Taipei offered words of encouragement to the nation’s LGBT community.
After the referendum results were announced, the Judicial Yuan heard from some LGBT people who had contemplated suicide because of the results, Hsu said.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on people who supported the failed pro-LGBT referendums to not lose their spirit, to be emotionally strong and to not feel disappointed,” Hsu said.
The rights of the LGBT community have already been protected by the interpretation, which would not be affected by the referendums, he added.
However, the referendum results would have a legally binding effect on the administrative and legislative branches of the government, which might have to protect marriage equality via a separate law, Hsu said.
A separate law would not necessarily afford unequal treatment to the LGBT community, as it would depend on its content, he added.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to