Same-sex mar­riage won’t be le­gal in Tai­wan ‘for now,’ says Jus­tice Min­istry

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The is­sue of le­gal­iz­ing gay mar­riage is “ex­tremely con­tro­ver­sial” in Tai­wan, a se­nior Min­istry of Jus­tice of­fi­cial said Satur­day, adding that the gov­ern­ment would not con­sider mak­ing same­sex mar­riages le­gal for the time be­ing.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Jus­tice Chen Ming-tang made the com­ment to re­porters af­ter the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Fri­day that the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides same­sex cou­ples the right to marry.

In Tai­wan, there have been re­peated calls for le­gal amend­ments and for the Jus­tices of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court to in­ter­pret the con­sti­tu­tion of the Re­pub­lic of China (Tai­wan) in such a way that would al­low same-sex mar­riages to be legally rec­og­nized.

But Chen said: “All coun­tries are not the same. In Tai­wan, the is­sue of le­gal­iz­ing same-sex mar­riage re­mains ex­tremely con­tro­ver­sial.”

“We must take into con­sid­er­a­tion the de­vel­op­ment of our so­ci­ety and public opin­ion,” said the deputy min­is­ter. “So we would not con­sider it for now.”

He added, how­ever, that cer­tain rights of same-sex cou­ples should be pro­tected.

Ac­cord­ing to a pro­posal sub­mit­ted to the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan by the Min­istry of Jus­tice, he said, gov­ern­ment agen­cies should study how to of­fer bet­ter pro­tec­tion to same-sex cou­ples un­der cur­rent laws, such as their rights to equal med­i­cal treat­ment and tax­a­tion.

The next step would be to work on new leg­is­la­tion on same-sex mar­riages, Chen said.

He added that while the Mi­nis- try of Jus­tice op­poses mea­sures that would le­gal­ize same- sex mar­riages out­right, it would sup­port a more grad­ual ap­proach.

The fact that gay mar­riages will be­come le­gal through­out the United States comes as a shot in the arm for ac­tivists and gay rights sup­port­ers in Tai­wan.

Many peo­ple took to their Face­book page Satur­day to ex­press ju­bi­la­tion and sup­port af­ter learn­ing the latest de­vel­op­ment in the United States.

Tsai Ing-wen, chair­woman of the Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party and the party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, posted a ring in col­ors of the rain­bow with a word in English — equal­ity — also in mul­ti­color.

How­ever, she stopped short of sid­ing with ac­tivists who are call­ing for speedy le­gal­iza­tion.

On a cam­paign stop in Taichung, cen­tral Tai­wan, Tsai said it took a long time and a lot of di­a­logue be­fore the U.S. Supreme Court made the rul­ing.

There should be ra­tio­nal di­a­logue in Tai­wan to nar­row the dif­fer­ences on the is­sue, she said.

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