Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Alliance’s same-sex bill advances

BLOCKING VOTE FAILS:NPP legislators were among five who sought to stop the proposal prepared by the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance yesterday

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

People hold signs saying “quickly define marriage as the union between a man and a woman in law” outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on March 5.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

A bill drafted by the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance yesterday advanced to a second reading and would be reviewed alongside the Cabinet’s draft “enforcement act of the Judicial Yuan Constitutional Interpretation No. 748.”

The bill, titled “draft enforcement act of Referendum No. 12,” was submitted during a legislative plenary session by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) on behalf of the group.

The New Power Party (NPP) caucus filed a motion to strike down the draft bill, garnering five votes for and 70 against.

NPP legislators Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), Freddy Lim (林昶佐) and Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, as well as KMT Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁), voted to block the bill, while Democratic Progressive Party, People First Party and other KMT lawmakers voted to advance it.

The voting result is in line with an agreement among the legislative caucuses to review all bills concerning same-sex marriage at once.

The referendum, which asked: “Do you agree that the right to persons of the same sex to create a permanent union should be guaranteed by an institution other than marriage as defined by the Civil Code?” was passed after garnering 6.4 million “yes” votes and 4.07 million “no” votes on Nov. 24 last year.

The draft enforcement act of Referendum No. 12 refers to same-sex couples as “family members” throughout, with an explanation saying that the wording was derived from Article 1,123 of the Civil Code, which states that “a person who is not a blood relative or a spouse, but who lives in the same home, shall be considered a family member.”

The wording is in line with the Council of Grand Justices’ Constitutional Interpretation No. 748, which only states that the right of two people of the same sex to form families should be protected, but does not say how, the alliance says.

The alliance’s bill says that people who are collateral relatives to six degrees must not be same-sex family members, which is stricter than the Cabinet’s proposal, which says that collateral relatives within four degrees should not be legally united.

It also seeks to bar relatives-in-law from starting a family.

Although “eugentic considerations do not apply to same-sex family members,” the legislation has been written in a way to uphold the nation’s long-standing family ethics, the alliance said.

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