Fri, Mar 15, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Groups blast ‘homophobic’ and ‘unjust’ family bill

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Members of Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy and their children yesterday protest in front of the legislature in Taipei.

Photo: Su Fun-her, Taipei Times

A coalition of LGBT rights groups yesterday urged Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) to withdraw his draft bill on same-sex families, which they said could undermine the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The bill is “homophobic” and “basically offers zero protection for same-sex families,” Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy vice president Tsai Shang-wen (蔡尚文) said at a rally outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

The group, along with the Awakening Foundation, Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association and other groups, gathered a proposal Lai has titled “The enforcement act of Referendum No. 12.”

The bill, which was originally proposed by groups opposing same-sex marriage, said that two adults of the same sex can register as one family and share part of their assets through an agreement.

However, they would only inherit portions of their partner’s assets outside the legitime (legally mandated share for relatives) and a will would be needed if one spouse wishes to bequeath more than half of their assets outside the legitime to their partner.

If one spouse has children, the other could only be their guardian until they turn 18, the proposal says.

Conservative groups hope that the bill can replace “The enforcement act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748” proposed by the Cabinet last month, which would give same-sex couples similar rights to heterosexual couples.

The enforcement act of Referendum No. 12” has so far received support from more than 20 legislators and is to be reviewed at the Legislative Yuan today.

“We understand that some members of the public and legislators might be afraid of and want to exclude gay people because they do not understand them,” Tsai said. “However, same-sex couples are not seeking privileges — all they want is the same rights as others.”

Jovi, who is raising a daughter with a female partner, said that the inability to marry has led to great inconvenience and unnecessary pain for the couple.

When her daughter was hospitalized for a pseudomonas aeruginosa infection last year, her partner could not sign the surgery agreement because she was not the girl’s legal parent, she said.

“Everything the draft bill [“The enforcement act of Referendum No. 12”] says we have already done. It does not offer anything new. Why do we need it?” she asked.

The bill is “unfair, unjust and discriminating,” she added.

Lai said he would respect the legislators who have signed in support of the proposal would “follow the legislative procedures and let the Legislative Yuan vote on it.”

Additional reporting by CNA

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