Pro and anti equal marriage protests in Taipei highlight controversy around legislation that would make Taiwan the first Asian country to recognize gay marriage
Opposing groups for and against gay marriage rallied in Taipei today, as the legislature examines a draft amendment that could legalize gay marriage.
The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) – who proposed to new legislation to give rights to same-sex couples, among other changes to marriage law – met at 1.40pm in front on the Legislative Yuan (the parliament) in central Taipei, with supporters were encouraged to wear white shirts.
The group had a ‘love and justice graffiti wall’ where supporters could express how they feel about gay marriage.
‘We do not have $5 million to but a newspaper front page ad, but we believe that love and justice is priceless,’ said a message on TAPCPR’s Facebook page, referring to a recent stunt by an anti-gay marriage group.
Meanwhile Greater Taoyuan Alliance for Happy Families (GTAHF) held an anti-gay marriage rally on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.
Wen Mu-tian, a member of the alliance, said to Taipei Times earlier this week:
‘If people of the same sex can get married, how can we face our ancestors? How can we pass down our values to future generations? How do we record the names of same-sex couples in the pedigree of our family clan?’
A group of 500 students were expected to join the anti-gay marriage rally wearing yellow, Focus Taiwan reports.
GTAHF, which is made up of mostly Christian groups, has collected over 550,000 signatures against gay marriage.
But a group of priests said in a press conference yesterday that they support equal marriage rights, China Post reports.
Legislators in the ruling KMT party have not so far endorsed the bill, which was proposed by opposition party DPP.
‘We think it may be a long, long road before this bill is passed,’ said Yu Mei-nu, co-sponsor of the bill to South China Morning Post two weeks ago.
‘The bill itself brings opportunities to discuss and rethink the issue and get more support from the public. It is great for the progress and development of Taiwan’s civil society.’
A poll conducted by Social Change Survey in August found that 53% of Taiwanese people support gay marriage and 37% oppose it.
by Anna Leach
Source – Gay Star News