Thu, Feb 27, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Society ready for same-sex marriages: activists

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Citing opinion poll results, gender rights advocates yesterday said that society is ready for same-sex marriages and called on Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to push forward amendments to the law to allow such marriages.

“Government officials — including Jiang — have repeatedly said that the issue of whether same-sex marriages should be allowed should take into consideration whether there is consensus in society,” Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) president Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) said yesterday during a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

“If public opinion is a prerequisite, well, then the premier has no more excuses to delay pushing for legalization of same-sex marriages,” she added.

Hsu said polls showed in 2001 that more than 50 percent of the public were against legalizing same-sex marriage.

However, a poll jointly conducted by the TAPCPR and Academia Sinica last year showed that 53 percent of the public are for same-sex marriage and only 37 percent of Taiwanese are opposed to it.

“In addition, polls conducted by many media outlets, such as the Chinese-language newspapers United Daily News and China Times, as well as local TV network TVBS, showed that more than 50 percent [of Taiwanese] support legalizing same-sex marriage,” she added.

Wang Hao-yi (王顥儀), another member of the group, said that she and her same-sex partner have had a child through ectogenesis abroad.

“However, according to Taiwan’s laws, our child is a stranger to us and does not enjoy the same legal rights as other children if something happens to my partner and me,” she said.

Wang added that both her own family and her partner’s family know about their relationship and support their union.

“The two families — from our grandparents to our parents and siblings — are ready for the legalization of same-sex marriage. What about the government?” she asked.

Chen Chia-chun (陳嘉君) of the Shih Ming-teh Cultural Foundation said that she would work with other rights advocates to send an official request to the premier, hoping to discuss the issue with him in person.

“I believe that, with the education background that Jiang has acquired, he would understand that this is an important human rights issue,” she said.

Chen added that if the premier was willing to meet with representatives from groups opposing same-sex marriage, “he definitely should not reject a meeting with us.”

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