By the end of the day on December 17, we’ll know if marriage equality is doomed to fail.
The News Lens
By: Courtney Donovan Smith (石東文)
This weekend and next could determine whether marriage equality has any hope of passing in the
near future. While the New York Times overly optimistically praises Taiwan as a “same-sex marriage pioneer” and asks if Taiwan will be the first in Asia to pass it into law, locally opponents of the idea are steering it towards defeat. But there is still one hope for proponents: march.
A few weeks ago strong marriage equality advocate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), the pioneer who in 2005 introduced the first such bill in the Legislative Yuan, estimated that collectively 56 legislators supported the three marriage equality bills put forth by members of the the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and the New Power Party (NPP). That’s one shy of a majority in the 113-member body. While the small NPP caucus is fully behind marriage equality, there is significant opposition within both the DPP and the KMT, both of which have strong conservative wings within their parties. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), though she’s expressed personal support for ending marriage segregation, is refusing to expend any political capital on the issue and has washed her hands of the issue, saying “I believe that in the near future, all members of the Legislative Yuan will freely express their opinions on the amendments according to their own beliefs, values, judgments and the direction of public opinion. Regardless of the outcome, I will respect the decision of the Legislative Yuan.” (Translated quote from the excellent Taiwan Law Blog). From within her own government the Ministry of Justice is promoting a civil partnership law in opposition to marriage equality. [FULL STORY]