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Legislative meeting on same-sex marriage in Taiwan sees little progress

Discussions on the matter will continue Friday

Same-sex marriage supporters at Taipei Pride 2018.

Same-sex marriage supporters at Taipei Pride 2018. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first round of cross-caucus discussions on the implementation of same-sex marriage law concluded Thursday afternoon (May 2), although reports suggest little progress was made.

The session, convened by the Legislative Yuan’s Judiciary and Organic Laws Committee, lasted around an hour, according to the Central News Agency, and saw legislators discuss “The Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748” alongside “The Enforcement Act of Referendum No. 12.”

The first bill was drafted by the Executive Yuan to guarantee the 2017 constitutional ruling that provided a legal foundation for same-sex marriages. The second, introduced by the Kuomintang, would limit use of the words “marriage” and “spouse” to opposite-sex couples.

DPP legislators Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Yu Mei-nu (又美女) said they hope the Executive Yuan’s bill could pass a third reading and be enacted into law as soon as possible. Tuan said any law that fails to guarantee same-sex marriage is a violation of 2017’s constitutional ruling, and as such, his only choice is to support the first bill.

A third bill introduced by Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) that also proposes some limitations on same-sex marriages will go through a second reading tomorrow. KMT legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said deliberations ought to wait for all three to pass a second reading.

Lai emphasized that last year’s referendums represented the public will. He questioned whether the views of a handful of lawmakers or the opinions of 7 million voters are more important, according to The Storm Media, and said there is much room for discussion.

New Power Party leader Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said enacting a law that grants same-sex couples the right to non-marital unions would be unequal.