Taiwan gay rights groups demand progress on same-sex marriage

Activists will mark anniversary of French professor's death on October 16

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LGBT rights activists calling for progress on same-sex marriage.

LGBT rights activists calling for progress on same-sex marriage. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Gay rights groups reacted with dismay Tuesday to a statement by Premier William Lai (賴清德) that the legalization of same-sex marriage was unlikely to occur during the current legislative session, while they said they would mark the anniversary of the death of a gay French professor with an event in front of the Presidential Office October 16.

The fall of Jacques Picoux from his apartment, widely believed to be suicide, came amid a depression over the death by cancer of his Taiwanese partner of 35 years.

The incident gave the movement for the approval of same-sex marriages a new impetus, culminating in a Council of Grand Justices decision last May to rule the limitation of marriage to person of different gender invalid.

Since then however, little has happened at the Legislative Yuan, where proposals are to be discussed and passed.

Lai told lawmakers Tuesday that same-sex unions were unlikely to be approved during the current legislative session because its main task was to discuss the central government budget.

Activists said the government would never be able to satisfy both sides of the debate, so it should hurry up and turn its promises into reality. On October 16 at 7 p.m., the supporters of same-sex marriage will gather on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building to commemorate Picoux’s death, hoping no second such tragedy is needed to encourage progress, activists said.