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Cabinet, DPP lawmakers to meet prior to gay marriage vote

2019/05/15 16:43:51

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) The Executive Yuan will hold a meeting Thursday with lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to seek support for a Cabinet proposal on same-sex marriage ahead of three competing draft bills to be put to a vote of the full Legislative Yuan Friday.

In addition to the Cabinet-proposed draft bill, DPP Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) and opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) also introduced their own proposals that seek to define same-sex relationships.

Of the three bills, the Executive Yuan version permits marriage between same-sex couples, while Lai's and Lin's versions only allow the formation of a same-sex "familial relationship" and "union," respectively.

The two designations have been coined to replace the word "marriage" due to strong opposition from anti-same sex marriage advocates, whose efforts to push the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman only gained recognition via a referendum in November 2018.

Regarding the matter of children, the Executive Yuan bill allows one party to adopt the biological children of the other, but not their non-biological ones, with the other two bills permitting merely a form of guardianship.

Lawmakers across party lines failed to reach a consensus on several key controversial clauses in a review of the three competing bills Tuesday.

The three proposals will be put to a vote during a plenary legislative session Friday.

Lawmakers are expected to put all the controversial clauses and motions to a vote at the plenary session so as to deliver a bill that legalizes same-sex relationships before a May 24 deadline set by Constitutional Court Interpretation No. 748, which guarantees same-sex couples with the right to marriage equality.

If no such legislation is passed, same-sex couples will be allowed to register their marriages under the existing Civil Code as it applies to heterosexual couples, according to a Constitutional Court ruling.

Meanwhile, DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said he has asked DPP at-large legislators to support the Cabinet-proposed draft bill and called on party lawmakers to help push for its passage through the Legislature.

(By Chen Chun-hua, Ku Chuan, Stacy Hsu and Evelyn Kao)