Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Activists urge amendments to allow same-sex marriage

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Gay rights activists yesterday appealed to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to legalize same-sex marriage by facilitating amendments to the Civil Code.

The amendments to the Civil Code to allow people of the same sex to be married are under review by the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.

Among the petitioners were: Wang An-i (王安頤), editor-in-chief of the quarterly magazine LEZS and granddaughter of United Daily News Group founder Wang Tih-wu (王惕吾); Chen Yu-jung (陳俞融), daughter of former Taichung mayor Chang Wen-ying (張溫鷹) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); and Chen Chi-chun (陳嘉君), wife of former DPP chairman Shih Ming-te (施明德); along with gay rights groups.

The 32-year-old Wang An-i came out of the closet at the press conference and encouraged more celebrities to speak out for same-sex marriage and fight for gay rights.

“I was born lesbian and I will continue to strive without ceasing to speak out on gay rights,” she said.

Chen Yu-jung urged Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to support the amendments initiated by DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴).

There is no chance of the amendments clearing the legislature without the support of KMT lawmakers, Chen Yu-jung said.

Saying she is a registered KMT member and so are all her family members, Shen Yin-chun (沈盈君) said she was not proud of the KMT because of the party’s position on gay rights issues.

As the ruling party, it is the duty of the KMT to take care of sexual minorities whose basic human rights have been denied and to lead Taiwan to become the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in Asia, Shen Yin-chun said.

After listening to their talks, Wang said he understood their petitions, but said that as a legislative speaker, he must “stay neutral” on how the amendments are processed.

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