Same-sex marriage bill introduced in Taiwan

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A group of politicians are hoping to make Taiwan the first Asian country to introduce same-sex marriage.

The country is one of the most progressive in Asia on LGBT rights, providing some LGBT rights protections and allowing some limited recognition of same-sex relationships.

Lawmakers in the country are hoping to push further on equality issues this week – with politicians from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) filing a bill that would legalise same-sex weddings.

The bill would change the definition of marriage to specify it is between two people, rather than between a “man and woman.

According to the Taipei Times, DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu said: “While many local governments accept household registrations from same-sex couples, it is just an executive measure that does not give them full legal rights.

“Many people have been asking why no amendment has been submitted and the reason is that details are important, and we have been putting a lot of thought into what should be covered.

“This time we want an overall rule added: Gays and heterosexuals will have the right to equally enjoy the benefits of marriage, including parental authority over children and freedom from discrimination in adoption cases.”

“There is also a need for a partnership law, but it should apply equally to heterosexuals and gay people.”

However, the anti-LGBT Alliance of Religious Groups for the Love of Families Taiwan has vowed to protest the change.

The group’s head Chang Shou-yi fumed: “What gay activists want is for their lifestyle to be affirmed by society, but why do they need to change the traditional institution of marriage, which goes back thousands of years?”

The country’s President,  Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party, previously expressed support for equal marriage.