Over 10,000 people rallied outside Taiwan’s parliament on Monday to demand quick legislative action on same-sex marriage.
This according to reports, would clear the way for Taiwan to become the first Asian nation to recognise same-sex marriage.
The protesters gathered outside a public hearing on the subject of same-sex marriage rights and possible alternatives.
Changes to legislation have been hampered by protests from religious and conservative groups, who call into question the extent to which same-sex marriage should be seen legally as equal to traditional marriages, with some calling for a special status.
So far, 67 of the 113 members of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan`s parliament, have publicly backed legislative changes to the island nation’s Civil Code to “equalize marriage rights.”
Taiwan’s Civil Code sets the legal framework for core areas of private law such as marriage, family relations, property, contracts and other rights and obligations.
The leading legislative package proposed by Yu Mei-nu, a representative of the center-left Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), would permit same-sex couples to have equal marriage rights and obligations and would refer to participants in all marriages as “both sides” instead of “husband and wife.”
The legislative changes would also ban discrimination in decisions on adoption based on gender or sexual orientation.
Monday’s demonstrators issued a statement opposing enactment of a separate law governing same-sex marriages, preferring instead to directly change the Civil Code.
“Some legislative leaders want to compromise in the face of conservative opposition through a more complicated procedure of enacting a special law which would acknowledge same-sex marriages without the equal rights and obligations for unions covered by the Civil Code,” Tseng Chao-yuan of the feminist Awakening Foundation said.
“The Civil Code guarantees equally rights for all the people and we cannot accept a ‘separate but unequal’ status for same-sex marriages.”
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