Taiwan Leaning Toward Supporting Same-Sex Marriage
According to a Washington Post report, Taiwan is on its way to accepting marriage between individuals of the same sex. This would be a historical moment as it would make Taiwan the first Asian country to do so.
In a recent LGBT pride parade held in Taiwan, nearly 80,000 people attended, not just from Taiwan but from all around Asia. Tseng Yen-jung, spokeswoman for the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy, reported about 80 percent of Taiwanese between the ages 20 – 29 support same-sex marriage.
Ms. Liou, a woman in a same-sex relationship, stated to the NYTimes: “If we could realize marriage equality in Taiwan, people in our situation could lead fuller lives.” Same-sex relationships are still a taboo topic in the country and continue to be illegal in other Asian countries. This restriction complicates the free expression of individuals that are otherwise part of society.
Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, followed the example of the city of Kaohsiung to recognize and register same-sex couples through a same-sex ‘partnership card.’ The card facilitates contact between partners in case of emergencies and means that hospitals include partners in medical decisions.
Although bills are passing for the recognition of marriage regardless of sexual orientation, it is not 100 percent assured at the moment. But the current political situation seems to favor support of the LGBT community.
Back in 2005, bills were passed in favor of the LGBT community but were almost immediately blocked. In 2013, a bill reached committee but was stalled. Today, bills to support LGBT are backed by 56 legislators. Since 57 lawmakers’ votes are needed for passage, only one more legislator needs to be convinced.
The president, Tsai Ing-wen, who took office in May 2016, has spoken in favor of same-sex marriage. Besides that, her Democratic Progressive Party holds the majority in the Legislative Yuan, so it is a crucial moment to capitalize on while the situation is favorable.