Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) yesterday asked if President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is abandoning its efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, as a bill to legalize such unions was not included in the Cabinet’s list of 72 priority bills for the next legislative session.
The Executive Yuan’s list of bills announced on Monday included proposals to amend the “one fixed day off, one flexible rest day” workweek policy, tax reform, economic booster measures, developing “green” energy sources, building “smart” infrastructure, promoting Taiwanese culture and addressing cross-strait relations.
Notably missing was the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which was one of Tsai’s campaign promises and is a major Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) policy.
Hsu supports making same-sex marriages legal, but in a Facebook post, he wrote that he had expected the Executive Yuan to drop the bill ahead of the legislative session that opens on Friday.
Opponents of same-sex unions are sure to ramp up pressure on politicians ahead of next year’s special municipality mayoral and city and county council elections, and many candidates were likely to distance themselves from the issue, Hsu said.
Given those circumstances, he said he wondered if the government would be able to push through its bill.
The prime time for passing the bill on marriage equality would be within six months of the Council of Grand Justice’ ruling on May 24 that it was unconstitutional to deny homosexuals the right to be legally married, Hsu said.
However, the Executive Yuan’s progress on proposing a draft bill has stalled, a situation that is unlikely to be remedied soon, since former Executive Yuan secretary-general Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), who was in charge of formulating a draft, now heads the National Development Council, Hsu said.
Premier William Lai (賴清德) should respect the grand justices’ landmark decision and resume the effort to legalize same-sex marriages, he said.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an