Several groups opposed to marriage equality yesterday filed a second appeal with the Taiwan High Administrative Court in a bid to overturn a constitutional interpretation that instructs the government to legalize same-sex marriage.
The groups, led by Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of the Family secretary-general Chang Shou-yi (張守一), submitted a new petition against same-sex marriage after the court dismissed their first petition on Jan. 10.
“There were numerous illegalities and a clear violation of the law in the process that resulted in the issuance of last year’s Constitutional Interpretation No. 748,” Chang said. “Also, the interpretation and the reasons given by the Council of Grand Justices in its ruling contravene articles of the Constitution.”
“Therefore, we ask the High Administrative Court judges to have the conscience and moral integrity to rule on our appeal through their own independent stance, and not to cave in to political influence and forces of intimidation, and to reach a decision conforming to the freedoms and values of our democratic society,” he said.
The council should have turned down an application for a constitutional interpretation on same-sex marriage submitted by gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei (祁家威) in August 2015, due to violations of legal procedure and the unconstitutional aspect of the process, Chang said.
Chang has been spearheading a campaign to rally groups that support traditional social and family values, and those representing various faiths.
Representatives from the Citizens Coalition to Safeguard Taiwan, the Alliance for the Happiness of Future Generations, itw999 Group and the Taiwan Civil Rights Solidarity Organization yesterday accompanied Chang as he submitted the application.
The groups have been fighting demands by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocates for legal recognition of marriage between same-sex partners, which would give them the right to form a family, recognize them as heads of households and give them parental guardianship of children, along with inheritance and shared property ownership rights.
Members of the groups yesterday held up placards that read “The gay rights movement is devouring Taiwan,” “Once these discriminatory laws are approved, people will have no freedom of speech and no religious freedom” and “We want sexual liberation education out of our schools.”
Chang pointed at what he said were flaws and wrong interpretations by Wu Chen-huan (吳陳鐶), the judge who rejected the previous petition.
Wu said in his ruling that “the Council of Grand Justices exercised its judiciary authority to take up the constitutional interpretation [on Chi’s case]... The procedure was not under the authority of an administrative body, and its related litigation does not belong under the authority of the Taiwan High Administrative Court, which would have no right to rule on the case.”
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