The government is drafting legislation to abolish the death penalty and legitimize gay marriages, a Cabinet official said yesterday.
If the laws are approved by the legislature, Taiwan would be the first country in Asia to legalize marriages among people of the same sex.
Jointly drafted by the Presidential Office and the Cabinet, the proposal is designed to protect basic human rights, the official said.
"More than half of the draft has been completed so far, of which the gradual removal of the death sentence was ratified," he said.
Last October, President Chen Shui-bian (
The Presidential Office said yesterday the move to abolish the death penalty would ensure the right to life to everyone, including convicted criminals.
The government is also seeking to legitimize gay marriages and recognize the right of homosexual couples to adopt children, he said.
"The human rights of homo-sexuals have been gradually recognized by countries around the world," a local newspaper said quoting the Presidential Office.
"To protect their rights, people [of the same sex] should have the right to wed and have a family based on their free will," the paper said.
At present, gays and lesbians are not considered as prospective parents.
The Taiwan Gay and Lesbian Association hailed the legislation which its officials described as an act of "goodwill" from the government.
"It would be our pleasure to see the development. Basically we are positive toward the goodwill from the government," said Chan Ming-chou, an official with the association.
However, Chan told reporters that there was still a long way to go before discrimination against homosexuals ends.
The final draft of the bill is expected to be ready for legislative review in December, the Cabinet official said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The US on Thursday removed a warning against all international travel, and placed Taiwan on a list of 13 destinations where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is “very low.” The list was compiled almost five months after the US Department of State issued a “global level 4 health advisory,” urging US citizens to avoid all international travel. On Thursday, the department announced that it was lifting the advisory, saying that “with health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.” The US