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President Tsai reiterates support for same-sex marriage

2016/12/10 22:42:08

Some 200,000 people flock to a concert Saturday in downtown Taipei in support of legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has again expressed her support for legalizing same-sex marriage and has called for more discussion and less confrontation on the issue, the Presidential Office said Saturday.

"Gays also have a right to marriage," Tsai said, according to her spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺), as some 200,000 people flocked to a concert in downtown Taipei in support of legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

Huang said the president is also urging all sectors of the society to talk more to one another and to be more tolerant of each other.

"The president hopes there will be less confrontation and less castigation in our society and that there will be more comprehensive legal protection of gay rights," Huang said.

On Nov. 17, Tsai expressed support for marriage equality as more than 10,000 opponents of same-sex marriage staged a rally outside the Legislature to protest lawmakers reviewing contentious law amendments to legalize gay marriage.

Meanwhile, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) called for public support for the draft amendments to the Civil Code to ensure marriage equality and help Taiwan become a country where human rights for all are truly respected.

"Stand up for someone's rights today!" Cheng said in a Facebook post, quoting a United Nations statement on Human Rights Day.

She said Taiwan has never been absent in the fight for human rights.

At the rally on Ketelagan Boulevard, a pop music concert was held in support of legalizing same-sex marriage, attracting an audience of about 150,000 that gathered to hear performances by stars from home and abroad. Before her performance at the concert, Hong Kong pop star Denise Ho told the audience that she had been in same-sex relationship in 2012. Her decision to go public with that information was critical to her career, she said.

"I would not have been an honest person unless I did so," Ho said.

She said she was honored to be part of what she described as a historical moment in Taiwan.

Several legislators across party lines, artists, and other celebrities also showed support for the same-sex marriage movement by either participating in the rally or sending recorded messages.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), who has been heavily criticized for her advocacy of marriage equality, said all the relevant bills will be referred to a legislative plenary session on Dec. 26.

She said an amendment to the Civil Code's provisions on marriage rights would be the quickest way to legalize same-sex marriage.

(By Lu Hsin-hui, Yu Hsiao-han, Chen Chih-chung and S.C. Chang)
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