Taiwanese rights group to propose alternative marriage bill

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights will urge lawmakers to support non-traditional unions and families

Taiwanese rights group to propose alternative marriage bill
06 June 2012

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) will unveil a complete bill on alternative marriages by July and send it to the Legislative Yuan.

In the proposed bill, a couple can form a union not only regardless of their sex, but they also need not have any sexual relationship, as long as they pledge to care for each other and form a family, according to TAPCPR representative Chien chih-chieh.

On family relations, the partnership system is designed to focus more on the union of the two individuals and their family members are not automatically bound by law to be relatives of the other family.

This proposal appears to suit the Taiwanese gay couple who have earlier suspended a fight to register their marriage due to family inheritance concerns.

The TAPCPR itself has been pushing for the legitimization of alternative families by changing the civil law since 2009. Its bill will be three-pronged – covering the partnership system above, legalization of same-sex marriage and redefinition of ‘family’.

The partnership system that it calls for will be neither a replicate nor a subsidiary of the marriage system. Any two willing individuals aged 20 or above will be able to negotiate a voluntary partnership, regardless of their gender.

The TAPCPR aims to change the requirement that any marriage or family must be formed only by individuals of the opposite sex, thus allowing sexual minorities and gays in particular to wed.

It will also call for a change in the definition of family in the civil law to allow people with no blood ties to form a family.

Many gays have adopted children, but as the Taiwanese law does not allow same-sex union or marriage, the non-biological father or mother in a relationship simply has no legal status whatsoever when it comes to medical treatment, household registration or child custody, Chien says.

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