Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Civic groups rally for legislation of same-sex rights

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE:LGBT advocates protested a Ministry of Justice survey, which they said aimed to prevent discussion of the ‘marriage equality’ bill

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Members of gay rights groups protest outside the Ministry of Justice building in Taipei yesterday, accusing the ministry of using delaying tactics to postpone the passage of marriage equality legislation.

Photo: CNA

A coalition of civic groups advocating sexual equality yesterday staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Justice building, calling on the government to approve amendments to allow same-sex marriage.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups, along with women’s empowerment and social welfare organizations, joined the demonstration and a press briefing in front of the building.

Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights chief executive officer Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) said the alliance wanted to rally support from the public and other civic groups to counter a recent online government survey, which she said was misleading and was designed to prevent the introduction of and deliberation on the “marriage equality” bill in the legislature.

Hsu was referring to the ministry’s online survey, posted on the National Development Council Web site earlier this month, which includes questions such as whether the legislature should approve the law on legalizing “same-sex marriage” and extending rights protection to same-sex couples

Hsu said that more than 10,000 netizens voted on the questions, and several thousands left messages to provide their viewpoints and suggestions.

However, Hsu said the ministry “deliberately left out” one important aspect, that is, legalizing same-sex marriage by amending the Civil Code, which was not provided as a choice for netizens to vote on.

“We are happy to see that all levels of government have begun to solicit public opinions on these issues, and it is good to offer an online platform for open discussion by people,” Hsu said.

”However, the Ministry of Justice’s survey on the National Development Council Web site had dubious intentions. We suspect it is just a smokescreen to obfuscate and hamper the judicial process for the [sexual equality] bills’ passage,” she added.

Alliance secretary-general Chien Chih-chieh (簡至潔) questioned the ministry’s motives and accused it of trying to mislead the public.

The coalition and LGBT rights activists are advocating the legalization of same-sex marriage and sexual equality rights.

However, other groups such as school parents associations, church and religious groups oppose the measures, saying it would destroy family institutions, morality and traditional values.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top