President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) supports marriage equality and believes everyone is equal before love, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said on Thursday as more than 10,000 people gathered outside the Legislative Yuan protesting the review of amendments for same-sex marriage.
However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Policy Committee chief executive and party spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元), a former lawmaker, sided with the protesters, blasting the “attempt to abolish the marriage institution of heterosexuals” by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and saying that the president was supporting the effort because she is “99 percent homosexual oriented.”
Huang said Tsai Ying-wen urged tolerance.
“We are pleased to see more dialogue and tolerance in society, which will help establish a more comprehensive system,” he said.
Asked about the small group of protesters who entered the legislature’s compound during the protest, Huang said that Taiwan is a democracy and all opinions should be listened to, adding that he respected the way they chose to express their opinions.
“We should all respect discussion in the legislature and the legislative process,” Huang said.
Many people have called the Presidential Office to express their opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage, he said.
However, in posts on Facebook, Alex Tsai said that he was “protesting to Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP for [trying to] amend the Civil Code and abolish the existing marriage institution to accommodate the homosexuals’ marriage institution.”
The proposed amendment would “abolish the titles of ‘father and mother,’ ‘grandfather and grandmother,’ and ‘husband and wife’ and abolish the institution of in-laws,” he wrote.
“Tsai Ing-wen herself is 99 percent homosexual-oriented,” he wrote. “Leaving the more important national affairs aside, she is trying to force through the abolishment of the institution of heterosexual marriage without a democratic procedure, a referendum or first soliciting public opinion. The public should accept homosexuals’ feelings, but people would not say yes to the abolishment of the heterosexual marriage institution for homosexuals by Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP authoritarian rule.”
Huang said Alex Tsai’s remarks were “too despicable to deserve a response.”
However, on his personal Facebook page, Huang said that it was “sad to see this company end up like this,” referring to the KMT.
“[Alex Tsai was] taking sexual orientations and genders as discriminatory labels and disseminating hatred with cruel and despicable language; these kind of political comments only accelerate the company’s road to delisting,” Huang wrote.
KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) on Thursday said she supports homosexuals’ rights and they should not be discriminated against, but more communication and mutual respect is needed on the issue of a same-sex marriage amendment to avoid social polarization.
KMT Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁), who resisted pressure from his KMT colleagues who on Thursday voted to hold 30 public hearings on the amendment — a move many onlookers saw as an effort to stall passage of the amendments — called Alex Tsai’s comments about the amendments threat to traditional family values and the institution of marriage “nonsense.”
Former KMT Youth League head Hsiao Ching-yan (蕭敬嚴) was even more disgusted by the remarks.
In a Facebook post, Hsiao asked if Alex Tsai’s real aim was to “destroy the KMT” with his “mad comments” that went against public opinion and common sense.
“Let me reiterate: The cause of a party’s bankruptcy would never be the loss of its assets, but the loss of the public’s endorsement and support,” Hsiao wrote.
Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui
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