Taiwan: Premier calls for creating special law for marriage equality

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After a referendum in support of changing the Civil Code to allow for same-sex marriages was defeated, and those opposing it were passed in Saturday's elections, Premier William Lai (賴清德) is proposing creating a special law rather a change to the Civil Code.

In Saturday's nine-in-one elections, voters rejected a referendum calling for Civil Code marriage regulations to be changed to allow for same-sex marriage, while a referendum against allowing same sex marriage under the Civil Code was passed. In response, Lai said during a meeting with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday (Nov. 29) that he respects the results of the referendum and will not amend the Civil Code, instead, he recommends enacting a special law to guarantee the rights and interests of those seeking to join a same-sex union, reported Apple Daily.

During the meeting, legislators, discussed whether to consider amending the threshold and merits of the referendums. Lai responded that the threshold and the merits of the referendum are the values of the DPP and they should not be changed. However, he said the verification process for the referendums must be convincing, including the fact that there should be no "signatures from dead people" and other issues, and partial adjustments should be made to the law on disputed parts of the election referendums.

After the meeting, spokeswoman for the Cabinet, Kolas Yotaka, said that the consensus among members of the Legislative Yuan and Cabinet is to "respect the results of the referendum," and the result was that it should be a law outside of the Civil Code, "of course that means a special law," reported Taiwan People News.

In response, some pro-same-sex marriage groups emphasized that if the special law is guaranteed by the Constitutional Court's interpretation of the constitution, meets the needs of same-sex partners, and is discussed between the court and LGBTQ groups, they can accept such a law, according to the Apple Daily report. Read more via Taiwan News