KMT wants more talks on marriage act

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Nov 30, 2013 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday called for more dialogue and discussions on the proposed same-sex marriage act, and said the Legislative Yuan should handle it carefully amid continuing disputes over the issue.

The KMT formed a special task force to discuss the proposed bill and define the party’s position on the issue under the instruction of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who expressed his support for gay rights, but said the bill should not be promoted hastily due to the lack of social consensus on same-sex marriage.

KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chun (楊偉中) said the task force, headed by KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), determined that the KMT respected the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The Legislative Yuan should hold public hearings to seek a consensus on the issue before reviewing the bill, Yang added.

“Society should engage in more dialogue, communication and discussion on the issue, and the legislative branch should seek to reach a consensus on handling the bill,” he said.

The proposed amendments to Article 972 of the Civil Code, which would entail the legalization of same-sex marriage, include the neutralization of terms that are used to refer to couples planning to get married, spouses and parents.

Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), in a story printed in the Chinese-language Apple Daily, expressed reservations over the proposed bill. He said that traditional family values were important and said the attempt to change the traditional family system by legal means was premature.

“I don’t think our society is ready for such a drastic change to the definition of relationships between parents and children, and the regulations and protection of marriage,” he said.

He said the Taipei City government has gone to great lengths to create a friendly environment for different groups, including LBGT groups, and eliminate discrimination in various fields.

However, legislation providing for same-sex marriage should be suspended until a social consensus is formed, he said.

“We understand and respect the needs of different groups and continue our efforts to make Taipei more inclusive and diverse. However, the proposed bill is concerned with family values and is a highly contentious issue. Society should seek a consensus on the issue,” he said.