Gay couple urges equality, end to discrimination

FAIR::The couple said they expected the Ministry of Justice to play a more active role in seeking equality for same-sex couples by proposing a revision to the law

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - Page 3

A same-sex couple fighting a court case to have their marriage legalized yesterday called for an end to discrimination, prior to a court hearing on their case yesterday.

Nelson Chen (陳敬學), who filed a court complaint with his partner, Kao Chih-wei (高治瑋), last year, said outside the Taipei High Administrative Court that he and his family were verbally attacked on his Facebook page a few days ago.

“Does seeking marriage registration still make sense if my friends and family are hurt because of it?” Chen asked.

In addition to seeking the legalization of same-sex marriage, Chen said the public should call for an anti-discrimination law that will “allow same-sex couples to live in a fair environment, free of discrimination.”

To protest what they saw as a passive attitude from the justice system, the couple refused to enter the court for the hearing on their case yesterday.

When asked by the press what they expected from the justice system, Chen said the Ministry of Justice should have played a more active role by proposing a revision of the law after it had completed a study on the same-sex marriage systems in Germany, France and Canada in May last year.

The report concluded that the Registered Same-Sex Partnership Regime adopted by Germany offers “a better common ground and a compromise solution between the marriage equality groups and those who are opposed to same-sex marriages.”

The court yesterday said that if the plaintiff and the defendant, the Zhongshan District Household Registration Office, would like to provide more information about whether such a union goes against the Constitution of the Republic of China, they could do so by Feb. 22.