A proposed amendment to the Civil Code that would legalize same-sex marriage is to go under review at the legislature tomorrow.
Following months of anticipation and heated discussions among groups for and against gay marriage, the amendment is set to go under scrutiny by the Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning.
The changes will be voted on at the plenary session next year, if it successfully makes it pass the committee stage.
The amendment, dubbed the marriage equality amendment, would replace terms that imply heterosexual married couples with neutral terms in the Civil Code, effectively allowing for same-sex marriage.
If passed, the phrase “between a man and a woman” used in articles concerning marriage would be changed to “between both parties,” while clauses that refer to “husband and wife” concerning legal regulations on property ownership will be revised to say “couple.”
The amendment would also allow for same-sex couples to adopt children.
Led by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君), the amendment has garnered support from more than 20 DPP lawmakers, as well as two legislators from the Taiwan Solidarity Union and one each from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party.
Yu, who is the committee’s convener for the current legislative session, has expressed support for same-sex marriage.
In response to KMT Legislator Liao Cheng-ching’s (廖正井) remarks earlier this year when he said “local folks back home” would never accept something that went “against humanity” such as gay marriage, marriage equality advocates retaliated by launching a petition that condemned Liao’s remarks as discriminatory, collecting more than 2,000 signatures within one day in his constituency.
Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) director Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) accused the Ministry of Justice of failing to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, saying that Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) should step down for “gross negligence” of her duties.
“Regardless of political affiliation, the protection of human rights is a national policy. Even if the Ministry of Justice has failed to come up with an amendment themselves, they should still stand up for gay rights on Monday [tomorrow] at the legislature,” TAPCPR secretary-general Chien Chih-chieh (簡至潔) said.
Legislation to legalize same-sex marriage has failed on numerous occasions. A proposed amendment failed to make it past the committee stage last year amid opposition from Christian groups.
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