Sat, Nov 19, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Opponents, supporters of amendments rallying sides

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Gay Christians from a campaign group called Aura Glimmer, share life stories to “spread love and dispel fear caused by a lack of understanding” on Wednesday during a demonstration in support of marriage equality outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Photo: Wang Yi-song, Taipei Times

Calling for a national referendum on same-sex marriage, officials from a coalition of civic groups and religious organizations opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage yesterday said they won a small victory by stopping a proposed amendment from going into the legislative review procedure.

Alliance of Religious Groups for the Love of Families Taiwan secretary-general Chang Shou-yi (張守一) said the proposed amendments to the Civil Code to legalize same-sex marriage and allow married gay couples to adopt children would have a monumental impact on society and therefore should be decided by a plebiscite.

“When it goes to a referendum, I believe we will win,” Chang said.

“However, if the other side, which supports amending the law, wins, we will abide by the result and bear the burden together with the rest of society,” he said.

“Most people right now are either apathetic, do not understand the issues, or only taking a stance without any logic, but by holding two public hearings and going through the referendum process, there will be opportunities for people and groups to express their views and think the whole thing through,” he said.

There were 20,000 people who took part in a protest against the proposed amendments on Thursday, and most of them came want to protect traditional family values and are against same-sex marriage, he said.

“However, our messages and opinions have been distorted by the media, and have led to misunderstanding in society,” he said.

Supporters of the proposed amendments said they would continue to work with legislators of all political parties to push for legislative review of the amendments and to get them passed.

Groups supporting the proposed amendments circulated a videoclip from Thursday’s legislative committee session showing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) questioning Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三).

In the clip, Lin cites as an example a gay couple who were together for 35 years, whose parents were dead and who did not have any children.

“One man was at 70 years old and his partner was a man who had been with him for 35 years. The two men had an intimate relationship with regards to their personal love, finances and daily lives. However, one met an untimely death, so can his partner inherit his property and his pension benefits?” Lin said.

Regulations allowed that family members or the surviving member of a couple who took care of the other or who was in a position of financial dependency could apply to the court for a portion of property or assets of the deceased, the minister said.

“However, the person does not have the right of inheritance according to the law,” Chiu said.

A man and a woman who are married, even if the relationship turns sour or they have only been married for a short time, still enjoy the right of inheritance under the law, but for those in a same-sex relationship, our nation’s law does not give them this right,” Lin said.

Chiu replied: “That is correct.”

“Well, if this is so, minister, then let us fix the law,” Lin said.

The video had received thousands of views and endorsement by yesterday, with many netizens posting messages of support and gratitude to Lin.

“Thank you, legislator Lin. When I heard you said that final line, tears welled up in my eyes,” one person wrote.

This story has been viewed 2467 times.

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