Supporters and detractors of same-sex marriage plan more street action

Supporters pick December 10, opponents December 3

Religious groups want separate law for same-sex marriage. (By Central News Agency)

        TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As the legislative review of proposals to legalize same-sex marriage approaches, the supporters have chosen International Human Rights Day December 10 for a music festival, while the opponents will take to the streets one week earlier.

        Following the completion of two public hearings on the subject, the Legislative Yuan has said it will review several proposals on the issue on December 26.

        The most recent development on the subject is the emergence of a conflict between those who want to amend existing laws and those who want to draw up a new and separate law. The latter idea gained momentum when the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s top legislator, Ker Chien-ming, seemed to support it, but it has generally been described by critics as a ploy by opponents of gay marriage to create a new, separate and unequal status for same-sex couples.

        On December 10, the supporters of same-sex marriage will organize an event from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Ketagalan Boulevard, the wide tree-lined avenue in front of the Presidential Office Building. Live music performances will dominate the program.

        Organizers said that since the two public hearings were completed, rumors have been launched to denigrate the image of gay people, not only damaging their cause but also intensifying polarization in Taiwanese society.

        The December 10 event will clearly state the rejection of the proposal for a special law, the organizers said.

        Meanwhile, their opponents will stage a mass event one week earlier, on December 3. Religious leaders opposed to same-sex marriage held a joint news conference Wednesday morning, while protesters appeared outside DPP headquarters calling for the sacking of three of the party’s lawmakers known for their support of gay rights.

        Protesters also emerged at a New Taipei City office of another prominent supporter of same-sex marriage, New Power Party Chairman Huang Kuo-chang.