The Executive Yuan’s proposal to legalize same-sex unions by drafting a separate law would go against the result of a referendum passed last Saturday that asked: “Do you agree that the right to persons of the same sex to create a permanent union should be guaranteed by an institution other than marriage as defined by the Civil Code?” the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance said yesterday.
Referendum No. 12 is one of three initiated by the alliance that passed the voting threshold.
The alliance’s goal was to push for legislation that allows same-sex couples to register as “family members” or parties in a civil union, not a special law to legalize same-sex marriage, alliance president Tseng Hsien-ying (曾獻瑩) said at a news conference in Taipei.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The alliance would launch a working group to support legislative efforts and draft a bill that would regulate same-sex couples’ property rights and rights to make medical decisions for each other, he said.
The Cabinet’s proposal to legalize same-sex marriage through a special law contradicts the will of the public, Tseng said, before calling on the Ministry of Education to respond to the passage of Referendum No. 11, which calls for a halt to the inclusion of homosexuality in gender equality education.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), who attended the news conference, said that Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li’s (許宗力) comments that referendums do not supersede the Constitution held 7 million people in contempt.
Hsu is not qualified to be the president of the Judicial Yuan and the government should respect the will of the people, Lai said, adding: “Referendums are not opinion polls.”
In related news, the perception that the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) stance on same-sex marriage was partly to blame for its rout in last week’s elections has reportedly put pressure on the party’s most prominent proponents of legalization, lawmakers Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Yu Mei-nu (尤美女).
When asked to respond, Tuan said that even if the referendums oblige the Cabinet to propose legalizing marriage equality via a special law, the Council of Grand Justice’s Interpretation No. 748 remains the law.
“If we renege on our support for marriage equality when the rainbow flags flew, our opposition to nuclear power during marches and our ideal of rectifying our national name… then what is the point of the DPP?” Tuan asked.
“If we conceded, there would be no difference between the KMT and us,” he said. “We will become simply another political party with a different color scheme.”
The interpretation delivered on May 24 last year ruled that the Civil Code’s definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional and contradicts the principle of equal protection under the law.
Asked to comment, Yu said the referendums have been “immensely harmful” to young LGBT people.
“Since the vote, nine gay people have died from suicide, two have attempted to commit suicide and 23 people have reported being bullied,” she said. “Taiwanese society should stop this crazy rampage.”
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that party members should put aside their personal views and follow the party’s consensus.
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
RUNWAY UPGRADES: Airports and ports mainly scattered around southwestern Japan are being given major overhauls, primarily serving as civilian-use facilities Japan has chosen 33 airports and ports as candidates for improvement to enhance military capabilities, with a particular focus on infrastructure that could be utilized in a Taiwan emergency, according to a recent report in Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun. Citing the Japanese government’s fiscal budget proposal for next year, the newspaper said Toyko is to name some facilities as essential bases and receive funding for upgrades in line with the revamped national security strategy published last year. According to an unofficial policy document drafted last month and reviewed by the Nikkei, the Japanese government designated 14 airports and 19 ports for improvement, including
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Monday said he would not attend the official Double Ten National Day celebrations for the first time this year, as its English name, “Taiwan National Day,” implies “Taiwan independence.” Writing on Facebook, Ma said he has attended every National Day celebration since entering public service 40 years ago, but “with an exceedingly heavy heart,” has decided to reject this year’s invitation. For the past three years, the government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has used “Taiwan National Day” for the event’s official English-language title, leaving the “Republic of China” nowhere to be found, he said. The move