Pro-gay marriage legislator seeks law change in Taiwan

Pro-gay marriage legislator seeks law change in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan - A pro-gay marriage legislator said yesterday she will not yet decide what steps she will take next after arranging a controversial hearing on the matter last week.

Legislator Yu Mei-nu, an active proponent of women's rights and same-sex marriage from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said she will wait until the Ministry of Justice releases its proposal on how relevant laws and regulations could be amended to legalize gay marriage.

The DPP legislator and her office have been receiving numerous calls from people opposing gay marriage since she organised the Oct. 16 hearing to gauge public opining on the matter.

Voices from opponents and proponents were heard during the hearing, but there was very little common ground, she admitted.

Vice Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang said at the hearing that his ministry basically agrees that gay marriage rights should be protected, but any attempts to revise the law must take into consideration the social and cultural factors.

The ministry hopes to introduce gradual changes to the law, rather than radical ones, Chen said.

Yu noted that during the hearing she demanded the Justice Ministry work out a proposal on the matter within two months.

She said she will have to see whether the ministry is going to introduce a new law governing gay marriage or revise existing ones to accommodate it.

Until then, she said, she will not make a new move or arrange any new hearings on the issue.

She added that it is unlikely that the Legislature will be able to pass any new law concerning gay marriage during the present session.

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