Fri, Sep 06, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Wedding banquet in Taipei to back same-sex marriage

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Civil partnership rights advocates gesture during a press conference in Taipei yesterday to publicize a wedding banquet, organized by the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, that will be held on Ketagalan Boulevard tomorrow evening.

Photo: CNA

More than 1,200 people are expected to take part in a traditional wedding banquet in front of the Presidential Office tomorrow evening to show their support for legalizing same-sex marriage and equal rights to civil partnerships.

“The banquet is a celebration of the amendments we have proposed, which will be delivered to the Legislative Yuan this month,” Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights president Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) said. “We hope that government officials and lawmakers will listen to the voices of the disadvantaged.”

The alliance drafted amendments to the Civil Code following three years of study and research. The amendments will be forwarded to the Legislative Yuan with the assistance of several lawmakers, including the Democratic Progressive Party’s Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君), Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).

The proposed amendments aim to provide equal rights to marriage and civil unions to people of all sexual orientation.

“The conventional bedrock principle of family — which incorporates only the union of individuals of the opposite sex — cannot be the only option for everyone,” alliance secretary-general Chien Chih-chieh (簡至潔) said. “Many of the presumed values and elements such as gender should be discarded.”

The banquet will celebrate the “marriages” of about 30 couples.

Peter and George, who have been together for more than seven years, told a press conference held to publicize the banquet that their families supported their relationship, but “we lack the support of the law.” They will be among the couples getting “married.”

A woman who wished to be known only as Chi-chi (綺綺) said she wanted to enter into a civil partnership with her partner, known as Yi-chun (易君).

“One thing that parents of gay couples worry about the most is that their children may be left alone in their old age, but if the relationship is protected by the law, I think they [the parents] would be less worried,” Chi-chi said.

The Ketagalan Boulevard banquet will be held from 5pm to 7pm.

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