Former Taiwan President rejects same sex marriage; former DPP Chairperson voices support, says report

Former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui reportedly told CNA reporters on 11/30 that he opposes gay marriage in Taiwan.

Lee’s words comes as Taiwan’s government recently began reviewing a bill that if passed would allow same sex marriage to be legal in Taiwan as well as provide new rights for the island’s GLBT community.

According to Lee, “Humanity began with a man and a woman and I do not support the bill to be passed,” the report said.

Former chairperson of the Democratic Person Party in Taiwan who ran for Taiwan presidency in 2008 expressed different viewpoints saying, “This is an issue of human rights. I know there are a lot of disagreements over the discussion of same sex marriage, but I hope we can have in-depth discussions over this topic as our society as a whole should all experience the same kind of happiness.”

Netizens in support of the bill in Taiwan meanwhile said that Mr. Lee’s remarks came due to his Christian values, making viewpoints based off religious understanding rather than clear social issues that exist in Taiwan.

The netizens also voiced that most GLBT sexuality is something they were born with and believe that they should be inclined to the same marriage rights as those not in the GLBT community.

In contrast, Netizens throughout various news section comments that are not in favor of the bill said that marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman. Some people also wrote that Taiwan’s society would suffer in the future if the bill were passed.

Rallies of the bill also spurred in Taipei on 11/30, with tens of thousands of people coming together in central Taipei to protest that the bill not be passed. “Families and people are created from a woman and man. In order for families to function properly they need to have both male and females present in the household,” said one protestor.

“We believe that children and our society needs to know correct values. If we allow same sex marriage to be passed, who is to say that more people won’t become a homosexual?”

There were also rallies in opposition of the non-supporters, but the number of people participating was reportedly only in the hundreds. “We want equal rights like everyone else and believe that our love for one another should not be condoned,” said one supporter in reference to his relationship with his partner.

Many Taiwanese newspapers were surprised, however, about the low turnout of supporters as more than 60,000 people in Taipei marched in the 11th annual gay parade back in October to voice their support for improved GLBT rights. The parade is the largest of its kind in Asia.

Taiwanese as a whole are said to have mixed views over same sex marriage, with about half in support and the other half not. Other local newspapers reported polls that stated the percentage of supporters was closer to 40% of Taiwanese.

There has yet to be a clear deadline for a decision on the bill but some news agencies speculate around late 2013 or early 2014.

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