Human rights vows for wedding - Taipei Times
Fri, Nov 15, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Human rights vows for wedding

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Human rights will be the theme of a mass wedding of educators next month at the Juming Museum, Deputy Minister of Education Fan Sun-lu (范巽綠) said yesterday.

"The idea of a human-rights wedding was initiated by human-rights activist and writer Bo Yang (柏楊)," Fan said.

The 38 couples will be required to sign human-rights marriage certificates at the Dec. 2 wedding that list eight rules the couples vow to follow in their marriages.

"The eight rules were base on an article on human rights by Bo Yang. The article first appeared in Hong Kong's Mingpao newspaper," said Pesus Chou (周碧瑟), executive director of the Human Rights Education Foundation (HREF).

The Ministry of Education, the HREF and the National Cultural Association will host the wedding.

"The marriage certificate chiefly requires every couple to have mutual respect and tolerance toward each other," Fan said.

"Bo Yang believes the concepts of human rights should be realized in daily life. The human-rights wedding brings human-rights concepts into a family from its estab-lishment," Fan said.

"I know the requirements in the certificate are very difficult to achieve," Bo wrote in a statement explaining the human-rights concepts in the certificate.

But Bo said that the couples should not give up just because the vows are difficult to keep.

"We shall always pursue ideals," he wrote.

The first human-rights wedding took place in the Taipei Guest House in 2000. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) acted as the witness to the first 36 couples married at the ceremony.

Last year and earlier this year, human-rights weddings were held for aborigines and laborers.

"The realization of human-rights ideas in a family does not only mean the husband and the wife treat each other equally. It also requires the couple to educate their children and serve their parents with respect for their human rights," Chou noted.

A couple who were married in the 2000 ceremony were at yesterday's press conference to discuss their experience.

"Bo Yang has taught us it is not necessary to take to the street to campaign for human rights. The campaign for human rights can also be presented in a very beautiful form, such as a wedding," said the husband, Wang Fu-wen (王富文).

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