Protest over same-sex marriage bill

Proposed amendments to Taiwan’s Civil Code that would legalize same-sex marriage by removing the gender description was under review today in the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee of the Legislative Yuan. More than 20000 people gathered in front of the parliament building in Taipei to protest the proposed changes, insisting the bill not to be reviewed by the committee and that at least 30 public hearings should be held before any parliamentary discussion. The protesters, mostly followers from different Christian denominations in Taiwan, also demanded the amendment to be put through a national referendum.

Yu Mei-nu, sponsor of the DPP version of the bill and co-chair of the committee, first refused KMT and PFP demands to hold public hearings, citing numerous hearings have been held since similar bills were first proposed in 2006. The committee review was interrupted several times during the day as MPs failed to reach an agreement on several procedural matters as well as when a few protesters attempted to storm the meeting room. At the end of the day, an agreement was reached between the parties to hold two public hearings in the coming two weeks, one hosted by KMT and the other by DPP, and that an article-by-article review must be completed by the end of this legislative session.

President Tsai Ing-wen supports same-sex marriage. An opinion poll by Taiwan Thinktank An opinion poll by Taiwan Thinktank this month shows 47.8% of Taiwanese support same-sex marriage, while 41.7% oppose; support is particularly high among people age 20-29 at 71.2%, with a 10% decrease for each 10-year age range increase. Support is uniform among DPP and KMT supporters, while particularly high among New Power Party supporters, at 71.8%.

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