Taiwan Could Become the First Asian Country to Legalize Gay Marriage
Taiwanese legislators of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have announced that they will propose an amendment to the Civil Code that would legalize same-sex marriage.
Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), a convener of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee who proposed the amendment, said the bill would alter the wording in the Civil Code to allow all people in a marriage to assume husband-and-wife obligations, hold parental rights and have the same opportunity to adopt children.
The proposed amendment would change the description of those who make commitments to marry from the current “man and woman” (or male and female parties) to “the two parties” in Article 972 of the Civil Code.
Yu, who is also a lawyer, said at a press conference in Taipei that the amendment had to go through the Procedure Committee and the full legislative floor before it can be sent to committee.
She said the amendment was endorsed by 33 DPP lawmakers, and they were waiting for other versions of the legislation from other parties and the government to be sent to the Legislature so that all of the versions could be deliberated together.
DPP holds 68 seats in the 113-seat Legislature, while the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) holds 35 seats.
The caucus of New Power Party (NPP), an opposition party with five seats in the Legislature, said at a press conference Monday that its version of the same-sex marriage amendment will propose changing the words “father and mother” and “husband and wife” in the Civil Code to “spouse,” “the two parties” or “parents.”
Freddy Lim (林昶佐), a NPP lawmaker and lead vocalist of the Taiwanese heavy-metal band Chthonic, said he believes Taiwan “will certainly be the first country with equal marriage rights in Asia.”
A same-sex marriage bill cleared a first reading in the Legislative Yuan in 2013, but failed to pass three readings by late 2015, ahead of legislative elections early this year. The religious parties in Taiwan have been trying to vehemently opposed the nation’s move to give equal rights to gay couples.