Proposed same-sex marriage bill worries students

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Nov 28, 2013 - Page 3

While admitting that they could not establish a direct connection between the two issues, a group of students yesterday insisted that legalizing same-sex marriage may lead to sexual liberation and may have a profound impact on the Chinese cultural sphere worldwide.

“We are a group of university students from different places in Taiwan. We are here to voice our concern over legislative proposals for sexual liberation, including the bills on same-sex marriages, family diversity and the decriminalization of adultery, because these bills would affect everyone in Taiwan,” Shih Chun-yu (施俊宇), a Fujen Catholic University student and president of the Alliance of Students for Families, told a news conference in Taipei. “All of us [in the organization] grew up in families with a father and a mother, and this [legalizing same-sex marriage] would definitely have an impact on our lives, on society and on the future of the country.”

He said that, for example, children adopted by same-sex parents may be confused about gender identity.

A National Taiwan Normal University student surnamed Yeh (葉), who declined to give her full name, said that as a potential educator and a potential wife, she is worried that the proposed bills may lead to problems in both schools and families.

She said it is highly inappropriate for a video produced by the Taiwan Gender Equality Education Association mentioning sexual behavior and homosexuality to be used in a gender equality curriculum.

“School education should encourage students not to have sex before getting married,” she said. “Students should not be immersed in a bad environment before having a correct understanding of sex.”

A Malaysian student at Soochow University surnamed Seng (成) said that Taiwan is very influential in the Chinese cultural sphere worldwide and a change in the marriage system in Taiwan would not only have a local impact, but it would affect the entire global Chinese cultural sphere.

“You should be very cautious about legalizing same-sex marriages, because Taiwan serves as a role model for all ethnic Chinese around the world,” Seng said. “Is it really necessary to break a tradition that has been around for thousands of years?”

In response to media queries on how legalizing same-sex marriages would lead to sexual liberation, Shih said it is because same-sex marriages are tied to decriminalizing adultery.

After being reminded that same-sex marriages and decriminalizing adultery are two separate issues needing separate bills, Shih said that Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), one of the proposers of the same-sex marriage bill, is also a proposer of the bill to decriminalize adultery.

However, he added that “we cannot be certain that they are connected, but it could be possible that they are the same thing.”