Legislature to screen same-sex marriage proposal

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 26, 2013 - Page 3

Rights activists and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday hailed the Legislative Yuan’s decision to officially begin the review of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, and urged their colleagues to support the bill.

“This is a good start, but also a test of Taiwan’s democracy because diversity and equality should be maintained and protected in a democratic society,” DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) told a news conference after the legislature unanimously voted to refer amendments to the Civil Code to allow people of the same sex to be married to be further discussed by the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.

“The law should protect human rights, not become a source of discrimination, and everyone — regardless of their sexual orientation — should have the right to form a family,” she said.

She also urged Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to join the “campaign for equal rights.”

No KMT lawmaker endorsed the bill.

“People who are opposed to same-sex marriage claim that the bill may encourage more people to become gay, but that is not true,” DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said.

“No heterosexual person would suddenly turn into a homosexual just because same-sex marriage is legalized,” she said.

“Studies show that at least 10 percent of the population is gay, and they are entitled to rights granted to everyone by the Constitution. We should not pretend that they do not exist,” Yu said.

Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights president Victoria Hsu (許秀雯) said that a truly non-discriminatory society is one in which parents would no longer worry when they learn that their children are gay.