Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) groups and more than 2000 demonstrators assembled outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday to urge lawmakers to make Taiwan the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Led by a coalition of LGBT advocates from the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) and other groups, the demonstrators demanded that the “Marriage Equality Amendment” be applied to the Civil Code by the end of the current legislative session in December.
The rally followed a month-long campaign by the groups to get legislators to publicize their stance on same-sex marriage and took on a jubilant tone, with colorful banners draped across a stage on Qingdao E Road next to the Legislative Yuan and large rainbow flags flying from the rooftops of buildings nearby.
At one point, demonstrators danced in unison to a satirical techno remix of homophobic remarks made by Kuo Mei-chiang (郭美江), a Christian pastor who gained notoriety among netizens after characterizing homosexuality as “an interpretation of witchcraft” in a sermon last year.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) attended the event to show her support.
As convener of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, Yu vowed to organize public hearings for the cause this month, while also restating her wish to place the amendment on the committee’s agenda during her term as convener.
DPP legislators Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) also attended the event. Along with Yu, the three lawmakers unlocked “locks of homophobia” attached to the fences outside the legislature by the activists in a symbolic gesture to promote understanding.
Approval at committee stage is required before the amendment can be voted on at the legislature’s plenary session.
LGBT activists see a “difficult battle” ahead, as DPP members are outnumbered nine to four in the committee by their Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) counterparts.
Out of the 112 total legislators, the movement has secured the support of 15 DPP and four KMT lawmakers, as well as of two legislators from smaller parties.
Notably, some legislators who had previously been against same-sex marriage have agreed to support legislative deliberation for the amendment, including KMT lawmakers Ting Shou-Chung (丁守中) and Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟).
Legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan has already experienced several failed attempts.
Clashes occurred when opposing rallies for and against gay marriage took to the streets on the same day in November last year.
As of last year, public support for same-sex marriage has grown to 53 percent, while 37 percent of Taiwanese are opposed to it, according to a poll jointly conducted by TAPCPR and Academia Sinica.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
Scooter riders should regularly clean their helmets, especially in summer, to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating and causing scalp problems, such as hair loss and permanent baldness, a dermatologist has warned. Poor hygiene practices by helmet wearers often lead to scalp problems, such as bacterial folliculitis, tinea capitis and seborrheic dermatitis, Lu Pei-hsuan (呂佩璇) at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Aug 31. The first step to maintain good scalp care is proper hair washing, as shampoo residues can easily cause dandruff and itchy scalps, while improper scratching will cause inflammation, Lu said. The best way to wash your hair is to
INTIMIDATION: Chinese military maneuvers have mostly led to heightened support for Taiwan’s defense forces, while China appears poised to continue its campaign China’s incessant military activities in and near the Taiwan Strait over the past several months are “greater in meaning than in substance,” and are aimed at polarizing Taiwanese society, a researcher said in a report published on Friday. China has attempted to intimidate Taiwan through military threats, while at the same time calling on Taiwanese and US officials to practice restraint, which is aimed at causing a rift between those who prefer resistance against China and those who prefer peace, said Lee Kuan-cheng (李冠成), a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research. “China’s goal is to obscure public awareness
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and