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Taiwan becomes first Asian country to create same-sex marriage bill

Taiwan becomes first Asian country to create same-sex marriage bill

Two women have a Buddhist marriage ceremony in Taiwan in 2012 | Photo: Guy of Taipei/Creative Commons

Taiwan has become the first Asian country to create a same-sex marriage bill.

Same-sex couples will be able to wed, inherit and adopt if it passes.

Taiwan’s top court in 2017 set a two-year deadline after it said same-sex couples had the right to legally marry.

Taiwan set to make world history

Taiwan Pride 2011
Taiwan Pride 2011 | Picture: Creative Commons

Taiwan’s cabinet has issued its draft for the legislation which will be voted on and most likely  passed by parliament. The debate over the bill will likely start after 1 March and must be passed before the two-year deadline on 24 May. If it is not passed before then it will automatically become law.

The DPP, the main party, has said it will vote en mass in favor of the bill.

However, some activists are not happy because there is debate around the name of the legislation.

The bill may be passed as a ‘co-habitation’ agreement, instead of marriage.

Jennifer Lu, leading marriage equality advocate in Taiwan, told Gay Star News:

‘The civil code amendment is our first preference for how we wanted to achieve marriage equality and we need to respect the choice of referendum.

‘LGBT groups in Taiwan are concerned is if the (proposed) bill is constitutional or not’

‘We think the constitution is the bottom line and according to the resources we have right now, that is not the perfect version.

‘In the content of the bill from our understanding is there there will be a reference to marriage and the title of the bill is an interesting way that the other side (anti-marriage equality advocates) wants to oppose.

‘The opposition has a concern over the name of the bill, they don’t want the word marriage in it.’

She added: ‘But now we need to respect the result of the referendums, we could accept the new separate law, as long as it’s constitutional.’

The full draft will be available to the public tomorrow.

Law 748

Taiwan Pride 2016 | Picture: Creative Commons

Premier Su Tseng-chang took to Facebook to throw his support behind marriage equality and addressed the controversy over the name. He said it would retain the draft name of ‘the interpretation of the law of the judiciary no. 748’.

‘Social groups have lobbied for their version of the name of the law amid many controversies, and we feel that it is not necessary to debate, since everyone has to comply with the interpretation of the judge’s ruling, but the administration will propose the name of the law to be ‘the interpretation of the law of the judiciary no. 748′, which has now been sent to the legislature for consideration,’ he said.

Su finished his statement by calling for everyone in Taiwan to be accepting of each other.

‘I also want to say to fellow countrymen, whether you are heterosexual or gay, we are all in the same country, we all together live in this land… and I sincerely expect everyone, to be inclusive and accept each other’s difference, and to be good and to treat each other well.

‘{Let’s] make Taiwan a country of mutual respect, and be friendly with each other.’

See also:

Gay couple, 51 years apart in age, wed in Taiwan

Allow equal marriage in Taiwan or risk ‘political catastrophe’ experts warn

Taiwan’s non-binary politician named one of world’s top 100 thinkers