Taiwan approves review of laws to legalise same-sex marriage

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Taipei, Dec 26 (IANS) A Taiwan parliamentary committee on Monday approved the preliminary review of amendments to legalise same-sex marriage as thousands of supporters and detractors gathered near the legislative headquarters.

The approved review will be sent to parliamentary groups for further study, Efe news reported.

After the approval, opponents — mostly religious groups and traditionalists — announced they will fight till the end by promoting a referendum on the issue and will seek to revoke the mandate of legislators supporting equal marriage rights.

In the parliamentary committee debate the main opposition of the traditionalists appeared to be the changing of “male” and “female” and “father” and “mother” by words without references to the sex.

“I cannot accept that in my identity document it does not show I’m a father and in the documents of my father and mother it is not mentioned either,” said opposition party Kuomintang parliamentary member Lai Shi-bao.

In the speeches of the opponents the two most recurrent themes appeared to be the legal disappearance of the terms “father” and “mother” and new educational material on homosexuality, which some say “encourage heterosexual children to become homosexual”.

There is no strong opposition on the island to the legalization of gay marriage but rather to the change in the definition of marriage, which is the preferred option for the LGBT group as it rejects special legislation on grounds of being discriminatory and contrary to human rights.

In a poll released last week by Family Taiwan, a group opposed to same-sex marriage, 52.6 per cent of respondents rejected the amendments while 78 per cent considered them as affecting majority family values.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen voiced her support in favour of the same-sex marriage legislation and most of her party (Democratic Progressive Party) legislators approved the initiative, although some prefer it to be made into a special law.

–IANS

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