Drafting a separate law rather than amending the Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage would be more appropriate, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday.
The Council of Grand Justices is to start a review of same-sex marriage on March 24 and is highly likely to rule that it is constitutional, he added.
“No one in the DPP caucus is against marriage equality,” Ker said in a live-streamed interview with an online media outlet.
“After all, times are changing, and that is what I told religious groups that visited me,” he said. “However, how to execute it is a problem that the Legislative Yuan needs to deal with.”
Amending the Civil Code is an option, but there are many technical hurdles, he said.
“DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) has proposed amending five articles in the Civil Code; and DPP Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) has proposed revising four, while Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) has proposed 82. The New Power Party has also proposed amending 80 articles of the Civil Code, as well as revising parts of the Family Act (家事事件法),” Ker said.
“I once asked pro-same-sex-marriage groups to explain why there is such a big gap in the numbers of proposed bills when all of them are aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage, but they were not able to give me a clear answer,” he added.
Ker said the Ministry of Justice told him that revising the Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage would require amendments to more than 500 articles in 112 different laws.
“The legislature would be overwhelmed by these amendment motions and they would crowd out time for other pressing legislation,” Ker added.
A separate law could be a same-sex partnership law, a same-sex marriage law, a law for the protection of gay rights or even a partnership law that could also apply to heterosexual couples, Ker said.
A separate, special law would not be discriminatory as some have charged, he said.
“It would be an offshoot of the Civil Code, just like the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), the Physicians Act (醫師法), the Company Act (公司法) and the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法), which are all special laws,” he added.
When asked when he expects the legislature to start tackling the issue, Ker said April would be the earliest possible time as the new legislative session, which is scheduled to commence on Friday next week, will first have to go through a general question-and-answer session and the confirmation of nominees for president and members of the Judicial Yuan.
“The Council of Grand Justices is to start a review of same-sex marriage on March 24, but will probably not issue an interpretation until a month later,” he said. “I believe the interpretation is highly likely to be [in favor of] the constitutionality [of same-sex marriage], and that would be a basic principle under which we could decide how laws should be amended.”
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of