Cabinet passes bill concerning same-sex marriage

  • Date: 2019-02-21
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

On Thursday the Cabinet passed a Ministry of Justice-drafted bill to enforce Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748. The bill will now go to the Legislature for review and debate.

Premier Su Tseng-chang said that the Judicial Yuan’s justices stated very clearly in Interpretation No. 748 that the equal right and freedom of partners of the same gender to marry must be upheld. The drafting of the current dedicated bill comes in response to that ruling.

As the highest executive organization in Taiwan, the Executive Yuan must govern according to the law, said Premier Su, and respect the results of last year’s national referendum while also abiding by the interpretation of the Judicial Yuan justices, which carries the same weight as the Constitution. To achieve this, the Executive Yuan elected not to amend the nation’s Civil Code, and thus the regulations concerning marriage between man and wife as currently laid out in the Civil Code will remain completely untouched.

Society is constantly progressing, the premier said, citing the examples of the poor, women and black people, who for so long suffered discrimination and disenfranchisement before gradually gaining respect for their rights. In the past gays and lesbians were perhaps feared and shunned because people didn’t understand homosexuality. Now, however, medical science has proven that a person’s sexual orientation is an inherent trait. Homosexuality is neither a disease nor contagious, and no amount of indoctrination or pressure would be sufficient to force a heterosexual person to become attracted to those of the same sex. Conversely, homosexuality cannot be reversed by medical treatment or coercion.

Regardless of sexual orientation, the people of Taiwan all share the same nationality, the same land and the same space, Premier Su said, so everyone is entitled to equal respect and equal treatment. He called on all citizens to show tolerance in accepting those who are different and treat each other with kindness. In this way Taiwan will shine as a nation of mutual respect and decency.