Wed, Oct 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ting declares support for marriage referendums

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, right, and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Ting Shou-chung shake hands at a news conference in Taipei yesterday to promote the Patient Right to Autonomy Act.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator and Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) yesterday said he supports three referendums against marriage equality, while Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) refused to take a stance on the issue, citing the freedom not to declare a stance.

The Central Election Commission yesterday said that the referendums proposed by the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance have received enough signatures to pass the second-phase threshold.

The referendums ask whether the Civil Code should define marriage as between a man and a woman, whether education about homosexuality should be in the gender-equality curriculum for elementary and junior high-school students, and whether same-sex marriage should be regulated by laws other than the Civil Code.

Ting at a public event on Monday said that he supports all “three love-family referendums,” and yesterday said that his stance is clear, because marriage and family values are among the major forces that stabilize society.

The rights of same-sex couples could be protected by specialized laws, and an open and democratic society should respect people’s choice of love, he said, urging Ko to explain his stance on the issue.

In response to media requests for comment, Ko said: “People have the freedom of expression, but they also have the freedom of non-expression.”

Ko said he respects the right to vote in referendums, but no one should be forced to publicly express their stances, because people’s freedoms should not infringe on other people’s freedoms.

Asked whether he decided not to choose a side in any of the referendums planned to be held alongside the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24, Ko said that he and the Taipei Department of Civil Affairs are more concerned about arranging voting booths and counting ballots.

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