Fri, Oct 04, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Same-sex activists deliver first citizen-drafted acts

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Gender rights activists, including members of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, deliver the first citizen-drafted acts on same-sex marriage, civil partnership and family diversity to the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Gender rights advocates rallied outside the Legislative Yuan as they delivered the first citizen-drafted acts on same-sex marriage, civil partnership and family diversity to the legislative body yesterday morning.

Holding up signs that called for equal rights to marriage, a civil partnership system and family diversity, dozens of activists rallied outside the legislature as they delivered the acts. The rally was well received by lawmakers across party lines.

“This is the first time in history that civic groups have systemically researched an issue and independently drafted acts,” Taipei Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights director Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) said outside the Legislative Yuan.

“We hereby call on everyone to support the right for people to be married regardless of gender, sexual orientation and sexual identity,” she added.

Hsu said that although the ideal situation is to pass a package of legislation that combines same-sex marriage, civil partnership and family diversity, the groups are sending in three separate draft acts for the issues in case the legislature blocks one because some lawmakers are against the issues.

“We are not asking for any privilege; all we ask for is equal rights. We want to have the same right as you [heterosexual couples] do,” said a gay rights advocate, who wished to be known only as Hsiao Han (小翰).

“We are all humans and it’s the most fundamental right for all of us to be married, to form a family and not to be stigmatized,” Hsiao Han said.

A woman surnamed Kuo (郭) from the Loving Parents of LGBT Taiwan — a group that consists of mostly heterosexual parents whose children are gay — also took part in the rally to show her support.

“Most of us parents in the group are heterosexuals. We support the sexual orientation of our children and it’s our biggest hope that all same-sex couples can be legally married and find happiness in their lives,” Kuo said.

Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君), Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬), Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), as well as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖), were present to show their support for the group.

“The law must protect everyone’s rights, and the right to be married and to have families is universal,” Cheng said.

“This is not only a campaign for legalizing [same-sex] marriage, but also a campaign to get rid of discrimination,” Cheng added.

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