Several human rights groups yesterday urged homosexuals and unmarried cohabitating families to cast their ballots in the Jan. 14 elections for candidates who have promised to improve the rights of such groups, which have suffered a long history of discrimination.
It is estimated that about 5 million eligible voters are concerned about human rights for homosexuals, people in non-marital cohabitation relationships and members of other non-traditional families, Fan Yun (范雲), a board member of the Awakening Foundation and associate professor of sociology at National Taiwan University, said in a press conference.
“We’re urging these people to stand up” by casting their ballots in support of equality, he said.
Also present at the event were members of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, who recommended that voters back the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or the Green Party Taiwan in the closely contested elections.
Both parties have pledged to help improve rights for homosexuals, as well as enhance rights for civil partnerships if elected, the alliance said.
The recommendations were based on the results of questionnaires which surveyed each presidential and legislative candidate on their views regarding issues such as civil partnership rights, homosexual marriage and the incorporation of education about homosexuality into school curricula, said Wu Wei-ting (伍維婷), an alliance member.
“The DPP received our recommendation because its presidential candidate promised to map out policies which promote civil partnership rights within two years of being elected,” Wu said.
“The Green Party also received our recommendation because it included our calls for greater civil partnership rights and homosexual marriage in its campaign platform,” he added.
These issues have been discussed for a long time, but no significant progress has been made to this date, the alliance said.
To help resolve issues related to non-traditional families, the alliance said it has completed two draft bills to promote civil partnership rights and broaden the legal definition of a family, and it expects to send them to the legislature for review later this year.