Representatives from the Greater Taoyuan Alliance for Happy Families yesterday called on the public to defend traditional family values and join a rally on Saturday to oppose same-sex marriage.
“We fully respect same-sex couples, but we are opposed to amending the law to make our society one without fathers and mothers or husbands and wives,” a spokesman for the alliance surnamed Tang (湯), who declined to give his full name, told a press conference in Taipei. “Are we Taiwanese giving up respect for our parents? Are we abandoning the traditional value of showing appreciation for our parents?”
“Let’s all stand up to defend our culture, which is based on filial piety. Let’s all stand up to defend the words ‘father’ and ‘mother’ in our law,” he said.
The group is opposing proposed amendments to the Civil Code that would change gender-specific terms in articles concerning marriage, such as “man and woman” or “father and mother” to neutral terms such as “the two parties” and “the parents.”
Tang said he felt fortunate to grow up in a family with a father and a mother.
“I feel lucky to live in Taiwan because I have my father and mother here with me,” he said. “They are both in their 80s and living in New Taipei City [新北市]. My brothers and sisters visit them every week, and last week, I won for the first time a game of Chinese checkers against my father. I just feel it’s such a joy to have a father and a mother.”
Wen Mu-tian (溫慕天), a Hakka and member of the alliance, said that Hakka consider family, morality and tradition as the most important elements of life.
“If people of the same sex can get married, how can we face our ancestors? How can we pass down our values to future generations? How do we record the names of same-sex couples in the pedigree of our family clan?” Wen asked.
An Atayal woman surnamed Yu (游), who did not give her full name, said that Atayal families traditionally consist of a man and a woman.
“I would not know how to teach my children about healthy relationships if same-sex marriage is legalized,” she said.
He said that it is important to give the title of xiankao (顯考, roughly translated as “honorable late Mr”) or xianbi (顯妣, “honorable late Mr.”) in the pedigree, but “what are we going to do with when the couple consists of two men or two women?”