LGBT groups launch petition to allow cross-national same-sex marriage

05/09/2020 07:05 PM
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Photo courtesy of the TAPCPR
Photo courtesy of the TAPCPR

Taipei, May 9 (CNA) Scores of volunteers from LGBT groups in Taiwan embarked on a signature campaign Saturday to petition the government on laws that restrict same-sex marriage between couples from different countries, under certain circumstances.

The initial goal is to obtain 10,000 signatures on the petition, which asks government to remove the restrictions so that all same-sex couples would have the right to get married in Taiwan, said one the groups, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR).

To that end, more than 100 volunteers from LGBT groups in Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Chiayi, Kaohsiung and Hualien have launched a signature campaign, and the petition will be presented to the government on May 17, the first anniversary of the country's legislation of same-sex marriage, the TAPCPR said.

The petition stems from the Act Governing the Choice of Law in Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements that in effect excludes couples that are from countries where gay marriage is prohibited, and also in cases where one partner is from such a country.

Under that act, people from all but 28 countries in the world are excluded, the TAPCPR said.

Since the same-sex marriage law took effect May 24 last year, more than 3,500 same-sex couples have registered their marriages in Taiwan, according to Ministry of the Interior statistics valid as of May 1.

However, the group said, it has received requests from hundreds of same-sex couples seeking help, and it has been assisting those who want to file lawsuits.

The same-sex marriage law was the result of the Constitutional Court's Interpretation No. 748 in 2017, which stipulates that same-sex marriage should be allowed under the constitutional right to freedom of marriage and right to equality, the group said.

Same-sex couples, therefore, should not have to face these legal hurdles, since there are no such restrictions on cross-national heterosexual marriage, said TAPCPR Secretary-General Chien Chih-chieh (簡至潔).

The group is proposing a law amendment that would give same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual partners, regardless of their nationalities.

The TAPCPR said its efforts will include a rally in front of the Presidential Office May 17 to seek public support for a post-it note campaign and to help create a Lennon Wall.

According to a government survey conducted May 4-6 and released Friday, nearly 53 percent of Taiwan residents agree that same-sex couples should enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, a 15.1 percent increase from 2018.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Kay Liu) enditem/pc

Note: Singers Fish Leong and Eve Ai recorded a covered version of a song "Sea You Soon" for the campaign.

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