Asia Minute: Taiwan Getting Closer to Legalizing Same Sex Marriage

Feb 22, 2017

Taiwan Gay Pride Parade 2016
Credit Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a little more than three years since Hawai‘i legalized same sex marriage. The issue of marriage equality is currently moving forward in Australia’s parliament. But there’s another location in the Asia Pacific that may approve it first. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

 


Each fall, the largest gay pride parade in Asia is held in Taiwan.

It’s been that way for many years. Last year, tens of thousands of people turned out for the parade.

This year, activists believe they have enough momentum to legalize same sex marriage. 

This past Saturday, President Tsai Ing-wen met with groups both supporting and opposing the legislation. A presidential spokeswoman quotes Tsai as saying “there does not necessarily have to be inherent confrontation between family values and marriage equality.”  Tsai spoke out in favor of same sex marriage during her presidential campaign—and has been working on it with legislators since she took office last May.

Just after Christmas, a legislative committee approved a bill that would bring marriage equality but backers are still building support in the single-chamber parliament.

A similar measure failed in 2013, due in part to opposition from fundamentalist Christian groups and some conservative lawmakers.

Backers say about half the members of parliament now support the measure and they are anxious to get it passed this year.

The main reason for the pressure on timing is political. In Taiwan, next year is an election year.