Former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday denied having made a U-turn in his stance on legalizing homosexual marriage, saying that he has always supported it.
Wu, who was elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman on Saturday last week, in March told reporters that same-sex marriage “gives him the creeps.”
“The family values that have been passed on for hundreds of years risk being replaced by LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] families and same-sex marriage. It is messed up,” Wu said at the time.
Wu on Tuesday posted a photograph of a rainbow on Facebook, with the caption: “May those who see this find happiness,” sparking controversy over his apparent U-turn on the issue.
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Wu said that his attitude toward same-sex marriage had been consistent — that he “fully supports” the issue.
Wu said he made the remarks in March because he was concerned about developments.
“If there is not enough planning and preparation, it could cause turmoil in society, which is not what the people want,” he said.
The remarks were poorly constructed and could have caused misunderstandings, he said.
“Some compatriots might have gone through different psychological developments. Society should treat them with respect and give them space,” he said.
“From the perspective of human rights, we should be more inclusive of these people. I hope that everyone will be granted the right to pursue happiness,” he said.
Wu said that he made clear in two interviews in January and last month that he was in favor of formulating a special act or adding a special article to the Civil Code to govern same-sex marriage, adding that he believes that these are the ways legislation should be carried out in accordance with Tuesday’s Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 by the Council of Grand Justices.
Asked by reporters whether it still gives him the creeps when he sees people advocating same-sex marriage, Wu said he was referring to LGBT families rather than gay marriage, adding that he lacked a thorough understanding of the issue when he made the comments.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) said that the DPP was surprised to see the “Chinese white dolphin” take another turn, but commended Wu for having the courage to own up to his mistake and “turn in the right direction.”
“Chinese white dolphin” is a nickname Wu was given when he was premier for saying that the animal has an innate ability to “make turns” to avoid a landfill as part of a response to environmentalists protesting a Guoguang Petrochemical Technology Co project near the dolphins’ habitat near Taichung Harbor.
Additional reporting by Su Fang-ho
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