Gay marriage debate hits Taiwan streets

Gay marriage debate hits Taiwan streets

TAIPEI - Both supporters and opponents of a proposed alternative family formation amendment took to the streets yesterday to express their feelings on a bill that has recently attracted widespread attention.

The Coalition for the Happiness of our Next Generation yesterday held an event and sent a call to their supporters to gather on Ketagalan Blvd. in the name of the happiness of the next generation, and the organisation claimed that about 200,000 joined in the protest.

Yu Yen-hung, one of the founders of the organisation, said that the concept of alternative family formation is completely different from current marriage and family systems.

"We worry that this alternative family formation idea will confuse children's concepts on education and sexual identity," said Yu. "Therefore, we decided to stand up and fight against this bill that will affect the next generation."

Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien (王建煊) said that Taiwan is a liberal society, and everyone has a right to express their opinions.

"I respect and support all homosexual people, but the alternative family formation amendment will affect the healthy marriage system and healthy families, which are the foundations of a stable country," said Wang.

Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) said that many of the rights of same-sex partners are not well protected, and we should consider improving this situation by revising the laws.

"However, destroying the current marriage system will not do anything good in terms of protecting the rights of same-sex partners," said Ting.

Supporters' Opinions

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership yesterday invited 300 people to gather in front of the Legislative Yuan to promote the idea of marriage equality.

The alliance said that the event marked the first time that Taiwanese society has ever engaged in a direct and heated debate regarding the issue of alternative family formation, and they appreciated conversations like this.

The alliance said, however, that some groups who oppose homosexuality twisted the amendment to degrade the human rights of homosexual people, so many people decided to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

Over 10 Christians who supported the alternative family formation amendment were present at the event where Coalition for the Happiness of our Next Generation staged a protest against the amendment.

The Christians said that they wanted to let homosexual people know that there is more than one voice among Christian groups regarding the issue of alternative family formation.

The Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women's Rights along with other women's groups and law school students also held a press conference at the Legislative Yuan to support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The association's Chairman Liu Chia-yi said that based on the principles of gender equality, people of different sexual orientations should be treated equally, so therefore the Legislative Yuan should pursue the legalization of same-sex marriage as soon as possible, which will allow everyone to enjoy the right to marry legally.

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