Gender Equality Committee says same-sex marriage law reform process should include LGBTQ community

Gender Equality Committee confronted marriage reform team for excluding members from LGBTQ community

Marriage law reform team was asked to include members from LGBTQ community

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--- Members of the Gender Equality Committee of the Executive Yuan said last week that the marriage law reform team should include members from the LGBTQ community and experts who have more understanding of the issue.

During the committee's first meeting after the Grand Justices' announcement in May, the reform team was confronted with the diversity of its composition by several members of the committee, including Victoria Hsu (許秀雯), lawyer and board director of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR).

"Is there any openly gay member in the team?" asked Hsu in the meeting.

Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), chairperson of the reform team, said that now they are still at the initial stages of the process and therefore they are focusing more on internal discussion. There will be platforms for public discussion when the draft is sent to the legislature.

According to Chen, she has been exchanging ideas with students and colleagues that are openly gay and also joined discussions with priests to gain opinions from those who oppose same-sex marriage. She has stated clearly that the Executive Yuan will follow the decision made by the Grand Justice Council even though she understands the concerns of religious groups.

Since the Constitutional Court's ruling in late May, discussions about the reform of marriage laws have been ongoing. However, said Hsu, the Executive Yuan needs to move forward to the discussion of topics that are more controversial.

The content that the reform team has been discussing such as marriage age is often uncontroversial and the society has already reached consensus on it. But what needs more attention are issues related to reproductive laws, adoption and transnational gay couples, said Hsu.

Yeh Theresa Der-lan (葉德蘭), professor of National Taiwan University and president of Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation (TWRF), also agreed that the marriage reform team should be more inclusive.

"When we've come to the stage of reforming the laws, the LGBTQ community should have their positions in the process because they're the ones who will be affected directly," said Yeh, according to her interview with Up Media.