TAIPEI, Taiwan — Rights groups Wednesday called on lawmakers to put aside party differences and legalize gay marriage.
The appeal, made at a press conference for the Taiwan LBGT Hotline Association, comes after the election of a group of LGBT-friendly grand justices.
Three same-sex couples spoke at the press conference, which was held in an effort to raise awareness of their plight.
Social media celebrity and senior researcher at the Taiwan LBGT Hotline Association Jennifer Lu said “LGBT people can wait no more … We are fed up with being treated like second-class citizens.”
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Lu told the assembled media that government agencies had rejected her marriage application several times because “the law did not grant us the spousal rights which we deserve.”
Cindy, a mother to two children raised with her partner Lana, said it is time for legislators to stop debating whether it is legitimate for gay couples to have children or if the children in question would struggle at school, and to start thinking about how to protect all types of families:
“I wouldn’t worry too much about whether the children would be teased because of my sexual orientation … because having lesbian parents is just something our children and society have to learn to understand.”
Peng Chih-liu, the Secretary-General of the Taiwan LGBT Hotline Association said “LGBT families are no longer a hypothetical concept, but a very real phenomenon with demands that must be addressed.”
Earlier this week, Kuomintang (KMT), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and New Power Party (NPP) legislators each drafted separate amendments to the Civil Code, all of which aim to grant same-sex couples parental and spousal rights by the end of the current legislative session.
While the three amendments differ only slightly, Lin Shih-fang, a lawyer of with the human rights group the Awakening Foundation, said that most the LGBT community supported the DPP’s proposal. “We hope that Taiwan can become the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriage,” Lin said.