All voices should be heard in same-sex marriage debate: Tsai

The legalization of same-sex marriage represents a big societal shift and thus requires a lot of social dialogue and airing of all views in the legislative debate, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Sunday.

All voices should be heard and given the chance to make their arguments and seek support in the Legislature, Tsai said in a statement that was released after two consecutive weekend rallies in Taipei against and for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan.

On Dec. 3, an estimated 100,000 people took to the streets in support of traditional marriage and family values, while 150,000 to 250,000 people rallied Saturday in support of a series of same-sex marriage bills that are before the Legislature.

The issue has spurred attacks and rebukes by people on social media, which is not healthy in a democratic society, according to Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺).

In her statement Sunday, Tsai said the two sides should stop rebuking, demonizing and attacking each other and instead should leave room for rational dialogue.

Politicians, meanwhile, have a responsibility not just to express their own views, but also to listen to different voices, encourage mature dialogue and help scale back the confrontations and conflicts, Tsai said.

She said the different proposals for the legalization of same-sex marriage should be given enough room for discussion in the Legislature.

On Saturday, Tsai said “gays also have a right to marriage” and she hoped there would be “less confrontation and less castigation in our society and more comprehensive legal protection of gay rights.”

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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