Mon, Feb 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Group pans marriage equality bill

‘JOIN FORCES’:The draft act does not contain the word ‘marriage’ in its title and does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children, the International Socialist Forward said

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Members of the International Socialist Forward protest outside the Executive Yuan yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Cabinet’s same-sex marriage bill is biased against homosexual couples, as it does not protect their rights under the Civil Code, an advocacy group said yesterday in a protest in front of the Executive Yuan in Taipei.

The Executive Yuan on Thursday unveiled the draft “enforcement act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748,” which, if passed by the Legislative Yuan, would allow two people of the same sex who are at least 18 years old to be legally married.

The bill is expected to go into effect on May 24, in compliance with Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 passed by the Council of Grand Justices on May 24, 2017, which set a two-year deadline for the passage of legal amendments or a new law to guarantee the constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Marriage equality advocates have been divided in their response to the bill.

The bill reflects the interpretation’s spirit, but provisions related to the definition of kinship, adoption, marriage with foreigners, religious freedom and surrogacy should be revised or clarified, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said in a statement on Thursday.

However, the International Socialist Forward yesterday told a news conference that the bill discriminates against same-sex couples and should be rejected.

It neither contain the word “marriage” in its title, nor allows same-sex couples to adopt children who are not their direct relatives, group member Vincent Hsu (許偉育) said.

He does not agree with some groups’ notion that “it is better to have a bill first than to have a perfect one,” Hsu said, adding that the government should amend the Civil Code to better protect same-sex marriage.

“This is not the time to thank the Democratic Progressive Party for launching such a bill, but to join forces to fight homophobes, who would not stop bullying homosexuals,” he said.

After the news conference, the protesters marched to the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance’s office and pasted Chinese-language leaflets outside the building’s walls.

“Striking down homophobic power so that homosexuals can have equal rights,” one of the leaflets read.

An participant also gave a speech that was streamed online.

The alliance on Friday said that the bill violates the results of three referendums that were held in November last year, when more than 7 million people voted in favor of a proposal that said marriage should be confined to a union between a woman and a man.

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