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Protesters rally in Taipei against same-sex marriage bill

2016/11/12 21:57:02

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) A group of about 100 demonstrators took to the streets in Taipei on Saturday in protest against a draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan and called for a referendum on the issue.

The protesters gathered on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office for a rally that was organized by anti-gay marriage groups, including the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance.

Pastor Deborah Hsin, one of the main organizers, said marriage should be between a man and a woman and she argued that legalizing same-sex marriage would affect the long-term development of Taiwan, which is already facing a problem of low birth rate.

Calling themselves the "silent majority," the approximately 100 protesters said a revision of the definition of marriage and family systems should not be made by the lawmakers alone but by all citizens.

Same-sex marriage is an issue that should be put to a national referendum, the protest leaders said, threatening to hold bigger demonstrations if the government ignores their views.

The protest was held after two draft amendments to Taiwan's Civil Code cleared the first reading in the Legislative Yuan on Nov. 8, reviving an effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan.

At the same time, a petition initiated by eight judges and prosecutors in Taiwan has been gaining steam, having obtained the signatures of 200 judges and prosecutors in support of legalizing same-sex marriage, as of Saturday night.

"We believe that this will help protect the dignity of same-sex couples and is in line with the spirit of equality as stated in the Constitution. We thereby express our support," the petition reads.

(By Chen Chih-chung and Christie Chen)
ENDITEM/pc