A total of 38 MPs among the Democratic Progressive Party, Kuomintang, and New Power Party have proposed an amendment to Taiwan’s Civil Code that would legalize same-sex marriage. Marriage is currently defined in Civil Code Article 972 as between “the male and the female parties”. The amendment would remove the gender description and change it to be between “the two parties”, and adoption for same-sex couples is also likely to be legalized.
Co-Chair of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, Yu Mei-nu, is the sponsor of DPP’s version of the bill. As the bill has received the required 15 MP signatures, it will be first sent to the Procedure Committee and the full legislative floor for first reading before being referred to the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee. If the bill passes through committee deliberation, then it will be sent back to the full Legislative Yuan for a second article-by-article reading, examination, and debate. Passing that, a third reading of the bill will correct any wording mistakes and contradiction, and the bill could be voted to become law.
Should the bill become law, Taiwan will be the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. A same-sex marriage bill passed first reading in 2013 but fail to go through the entire legislative procedure by late 2015. Many are optimistic this time as President Tsai Ing-wen and the ruling party DPP are both supportive of the amendment.
Taiwan will host Asia’s largest LGBTQIA pride event this Saturday, October 29.