Tue, Nov 29, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Petition launched to unseat DPP’s Ker

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

An online campaign has been launched to unseat Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who proposed a special same-sex marriage law as a middle ground between supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.

The campaign to initiate procedures to recall Ker had collected more than 11,000 signatures as of press time last night.

On Friday last week Ker said that the DPP caucus could not rule out the possibility of passing a special law to license same-sex marriages, as opposed to amending the Civil Code.

The recall campaign described Ker as attempting to stall the passage of a draft amendment to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) aimed at lowering requirements for recall initiatives.

The DPP caucus on Friday prevented the amendment from being put to a vote at the legislature.

Ker’s “attempt to manipulate legislation and his inappropriate remark has not only counteracted the efforts of the advocates of the two amendments [to the Civil Code and the act], but hurt DPP supporters and those who support the amendments,” recall campaign organizer Huang Kuo-chun (黃國峻) said.

“The recall campaign has been launched to let the old generation, which is represented by Ker, know that they do not get to manipulate social situations,” Huang said.

To launch a recall bid, the signatures of at least 2 percent of voters from Ker’s electorate in Hsinchu City, about 6,500, are required.

The campaign aims to collect 20,000 signatures online to provide a buffer, Huang said, without elaborating.

Ker had said that a separate law could expediate the legalization of homosexual marriage given the divisive nature of the issue.

The comments are considered at odds with other DPP legislators who endorse a draft amendment to the Civil Code initiated by DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), apparently showing a rift between DPP lawmakers regarding the issue.

DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said he would not accept a specific same-sex marriage bill, comparing the notion to segregation along racial lines in the US’ history.

Tuan on Facebook denied reports that the DPP caucus was leaning toward special legislation, saying Ker spoke solely for himself.

However, DPP caucus chief executive Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said he is inclined toward special legislation and would propose a draft bill by the end of this legislative session.

A same-sex marriage law should grant homosexuals the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples as stipulated in the Civil Code, including adoptive rights and obligations, Wu said.

However, the legislation differs from the Civil Code in terms of the recognition of a legal parent-child relationship regarding children adopted by same-sex couples, he said.

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