Gay rights activists gathered yesterday to call for the legalization of homosexual unions at a public hearing, saying that gay people should receive equal treatment and rights.
Ashley Wu (
In many Western countries, where religions like Christianity forbid gay unions to be called "marriages," "civil unions" are legally permitted, Wu said.
Although Taiwan has fewer religious limitations, traditional family values and culture have led to widespread opposition to such unions, Wu added.
The association conducted a survey at the end of last year which showed that 89 percent of homosexual respondents believe that gay marriages should be legalized.
Wu Min-hsuan (
"It's not just about marriage, it's about having the freedom of choice," said Wang Ping (
The groups said that without legally guaranteed rights, gay couples may pay more taxes than heterosexual couples, and have insurance problems and welfare restrictions.
Civic groups also pointed out that the Civic Law (
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (
Hsiao said that amending the marriage regulations under the Civic Law was one way to resolve the problem, but that an individual law covering gay relationships was feasible as well.
Wu said that the Civic Law was more difficult to amend since it has been around for a long time, while a new law focusing on homosexuals would be easier to pass.
He added that the Ministry of Justice has been drafting a human rights basic law since 2001 and that it includes stipulations allowing homosexuals to establish a family and adopt children.
But no conclusions have been reached so far, Wu said.
Lin Chien-hung (
However, she said, the ministry would meet with Cabinet officials next week and the draft law should be sent in for review soon.
Chen Yuh-won (