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Taiwan to draft same-sex partnership law

Taiwan to draft same-sex partnership law

Thousands marched for gay marriage in Taipei last weekend.

Taiwan will draft a same-sex partnership law that will extend rights similar to a ‘marital relationship’ to gay couples.

Following the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June, Taiwan’s ministry of justice said it decided to draft the law to keep up with global trends and changing public opinion.

A poll conducted by the ministry in 2013 found that 53% of Taiwanese people supported gay marriage, and  more than 3,000 marched for marriage equality in the capital Taipei last weekend.

Justice Minister Lo Ying-hsueh said draft bills would be put to an online vote and the results would serve as a reference for the legislature.

The ministry added that should progressive to reduce the impact and social cost of institutional change, but gay couples should at least guaranteed rights to medical consent, family, maintenance, property and inheritance rights. Adoption was not mentioned.

But LGBTI activists questioned why the government had decided to draft a new law, rather than amend the current marriage law.

‘The fact that the government decided to set a new same-sex partnership law discriminates against homosexuals and it shows that homosexual couples are different from heterosexuals,’ activist Chen Ling told the Global Times.

Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy general-secretary Shawn Wu told the Liberty Times that some European countries were forced to move separate legislation because 70-80% of their population were Christian or Catholic.

But he said in Taiwan the number of Christians and gay groups were similar, about 5% of the total population, and therefore he did not understand why there should be a separate partnership law.