The electoral costs to the government of proceeding with legalizing same-sex unions in Taiwan are so low it makes no sense to delay the matter any further. And from a moral standpoint, it’s the right thing to do.
The News Lens
By: J. Michael Cole
As Taipei prepares to host the largest LGBT Pride parade in Asia on Saturday, the question of legalizing
same-sex marriage in Taiwan is once again making headlines, this time with a reinvigorated drive by legislators to pass the necessary amendments to make this possible.
After months — years, in fact — of foot-dragging, the stars appear to be aligned for Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to embrace marriage equality. A larger-than-ever number of legislators now support legalization, with former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the Kuomintang (KMT) becoming the latest to do so. And in the judicial branch, likely appointees have also been sending all the right signals.
Ironically, the largest barrier remains the executive branch of government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who made marriage equality a major issue in her platform in the lead-up to the 2016 elections. Her strategy of embracing the ideology of a young and activist civil society in the wake of the Sunflower Movement gave rise to a very progressive legislative branch following the elections, contrasting markedly with the elite-driven technocratic and male-dominated executive she constituted after her electoral victory. As a result, on the issue of marriage equality and other matters, the executive has often been at odds with the legislative, even within President Tsai’s own Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). [FULL STORY]