Religious organizations rallied outside the Judicial Yuan on Thursday, protesting against same-sex marriage and delivering a petition calling on the Council of Grand Justices to not be influenced by political considerations.
The rally was organized by the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of the Family and drew representatives from Buddhist, Taoist, Christian and Lamaist groups.
The grand justices are to convene a hearing on March 24 to hear arguments in a suit brought by gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei (祁家威), who argues that the prohibition against same-sex marriage violates the rights guaranteed in the Constitution by Article 7, which declares that all citizens, irrespective of sex, religion, ethnic origin, class or party affiliation, to be equal before the law, and Article 22, which states that all other freedoms and rights of the public that are not detrimental to social order or public welfare are guaranteed under the Constitution.
Photo: Yang Kuo-wen, Taipei Times
“We ask that the grand justices carry out an independent inquiry, while not forgetting their conscience and morality,” alliance secretary-general Chang Shou-yi (張守一) said.
“They should conduct the hearing with objectivity and impartiality, looking into all aspects of the issue,” Chang said.
He said that “political leaders have already decided the outcome they want” and will use their influence to determine the outcome.
“We urge people to closely scrutinize this case,” Chang said. “The constitutional interpretation must not deviate from issues of morality, common sense and the laws of nature.”
“Government leaders must not use the constitutional interpretation as a tool to suppress the will of the people and they shall bear political responsibility for judgements that lead to societal conflict,” he said.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has been pushing for approval of same-sex marriage and promoting rights for homosexuals, “because she made political promises to them,” Chang said, urging the grand justices not to rush to a decision.
Chang urged the council not to exceed its legal authority, as the constitutional challenge is only over “whether same-sex marriage violates the Constitution.”
The council should conduct more hearings to carefully deliberate the case, listen to counterarguments and viewpoints from all sides, he said.
The protesters presented a petition to Lin Chi-hui (林吉輝), deputy chief of the Judicial Yuan’s Grand Justices Clerks’ Section.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease