Legislature to hold public hearings on same-sex marriage bill

The legislative caucuses of the major political parties reached an agreement Thursday evening to hold two public hearings before continuing their deliberation of proposed amendments to the Civil Code to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan.

The decision came amid public demonstrations against and in support of the draft same-sex marriage bill and scuffles in the Legislature over the processing of the draft legislation.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), who heads the legislative Judiciary and Organic Law and Statutes Committee, said she and Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) will each host a public hearing in the next two weeks to gather more opinions on the controversial proposal to change to the country’s marriage laws.

The DPP and KMT caucuses also agreed to a complete review of different versions of the bill before the end of the current legislative session in December and pledged not to boycott the reviews, Yu said.

Earlier in the day, thousands of people gathered outside the Legislature to voice their opposition to the same-sex marriage bill. Those on the support side numbered only 100.

Those who oppose the bill have mainly put forward an argument that marriage should be between a man and a woman to ensure continuity of the human race and population growth in Taiwan.

Inside the Legislature, scuffles broke out between KMT and DPP lawmakers in a committee meeting after a call by some KMT lawmakers for more public hearings on the bill was rejected.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said his ministry had a plan to draft a same-sex marriage bill in February, which would allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

But supporters of the current draft amendment bill said there was no need for such a law as it would effectively violate the constitutional tenets of equality.

“The government just needs just to recognize same-sex marriage” by amending the Civil Code, the Awakening Foundation and other groups that support the same-sex marriage bill said in a joint statement.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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