TAIPEI - Taiwan's ruling party unveiled its latest attempt to create Asia's first gay marriage law on Thursday (Feb 21), a Bill offering same sex-couples "permanent unions" as well as limited adoption rights, despite stiff opposition from conservatives.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has had a stuttering and troubled journey towards delivering on their 2016 election promise to grant same-sex couples equal marriage rights.
In November, conservatives won a referendum against revising the island's Civil Code to allow gay marriage, in a blow to President Tsai Ing-wen's party and a stark illustration of the social divide caused by the issue.
The referendum came after Taiwan's Constitutional Court voted to legalise gay marriage in 2017 - the first place in Asia to do so - arguing that denying same-sex couples marriage rights was unconstitutional.
The court ordered the government to amend the law by May 24, 2019, but did not specify how it wanted gay marriage to be brought in.
The Bill published on Thursday by the Cabinet is the Tsai administration's attempt to square that circle - a new law that meets the court's demands while trying to respect the referendum result by not altering the Civil Code which currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman.