Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage held rallies outside the Judicial Yuan yesterday while police kept the peace as the Council of Grand Justices opened a session to discuss the issue.
The session is being held in response to requests for a constitutional interpretation initiated by gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei (祁家威) and the Taipei City Government. A ruling is expected within two months.
Leaders of religious organizations and members of the Alliance of Religious Groups for the Love of Families Taiwan urged the council to make a constitutional interpretation that considers the nation’s long-term well-being and the welfare of future generations.
Photo: EPA/DAVID CHANG
Alliance secretary-general Chang Shou-yi (張守一) said that there are hands behind the scenes perverting the judiciary, tying up the justices to manipulate them like puppets.
“We hope the grand justices can liberate themselves from the strings and freely make an interpretation that can be respected by the people for ages. By doing so, they can become national heroes,” he said.
Chang Chao-heng (張肇珩), secretary-general for a major Taoist organization, said that judges should only interpret the Constitution and have no authority to make new rules or introduce legal provisions.
“Therefore, this case — which seeks to challenge the Constitution on same-sex marriage — has already exceeded the court’s legal jurisdiction,” Chang Chao-heng said.
“We believe this case is just a charade, because we know that the government and judges have already set their stance on same-sex marriage. There has been too much devious plotting and manipulation; the case has already lost its fairness and impartiality,” he added.
Meanwhile, a group of students who support the legalization of same-sex marriage also organized a rally outside of the Judicial Yuan, where they held up signs advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights protections.
“We cannot wait another 30 years to amend the Civil Code...We want a constitutional interpretation now to free us from these handcuffs,” shouted the young advocates, who are members of an alliance formed by students of a dozen universities in support of the issue.
They said in a statement that the limitation of marriage between a man and a woman is no longer sufficient, as great societal changes have occurred, adding that the Civil Code violates LGBT people’s right to marriage and others protected under the Constitution.
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