Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) yesterday asked if President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is abandoning its efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, as a bill to legalize such unions was not included in the Cabinet’s list of 72 priority bills for the next legislative session.
The Executive Yuan’s list of bills announced on Monday included proposals to amend the “one fixed day off, one flexible rest day” workweek policy, tax reform, economic booster measures, developing “green” energy sources, building “smart” infrastructure, promoting Taiwanese culture and addressing cross-strait relations.
Notably missing was the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which was one of Tsai’s campaign promises and is a major Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) policy.
Hsu supports making same-sex marriages legal, but in a Facebook post, he wrote that he had expected the Executive Yuan to drop the bill ahead of the legislative session that opens on Friday.
Opponents of same-sex unions are sure to ramp up pressure on politicians ahead of next year’s special municipality mayoral and city and county council elections, and many candidates were likely to distance themselves from the issue, Hsu said.
Given those circumstances, he said he wondered if the government would be able to push through its bill.
The prime time for passing the bill on marriage equality would be within six months of the Council of Grand Justice’ ruling on May 24 that it was unconstitutional to deny homosexuals the right to be legally married, Hsu said.
However, the Executive Yuan’s progress on proposing a draft bill has stalled, a situation that is unlikely to be remedied soon, since former Executive Yuan secretary-general Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), who was in charge of formulating a draft, now heads the National Development Council, Hsu said.
Premier William Lai (賴清德) should respect the grand justices’ landmark decision and resume the effort to legalize same-sex marriages, he said.
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