Opponents of same-sex marriage rally in Taipei

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Over one hundred thousand people gathered on Ketagalan Boulevard on Saturday to rally against a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Wearing white shirts as instructed by the organizer Taiwan Family (下一代幸福), attendees showed up to demand that a potential amendment to the Civil Code regarding same-sex marriage be “left to the people.”

“We want everyone to discuss this issue. What we’re opposed to is that 13 legislators are making such a monumental decision regarding marriage and a potential amendment to the Civil Code on their own,” said Tseng Hsien-ying (曾獻瑩), a parent representative at the rally. Tseng said that if the people chose to legalize same-sex marriage via a referendum, Taiwan Family would respect the decision.

Main Objectives During a press conference before the main event, Tseng outlined Taiwan Family’s three main objectives.

Beyond stopping the bill currently under review at the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan Family wants “to remove non-traditional content about gender fluidity from the sex education curriculum taught at school and to elect new legislators to the government who better represent the many voices of the Taiwanese people.”

Chanting “marriage and family up to the people; students’ education up to the parents,” Taiwan Family supporters focused on the alleged negative impact the legalization of same-sex marriage and exposure to non-traditional relationships could have on children. Safeguarding Children’s Rights Speaking on the issue of redefining marriage, children’s rights advocate Katy Faust focused on the well-being of children.

Faust said “marriage is primarily how we safeguard the rights of children” and emphasized the importance of children being raised by both their father and their mother, who, according to Faust, give distinct and complementary benefits to children.

“A person needs both (sets of benefits),” Faust said in reference to the lessons on risk-taking and equity that one can learn from one’s father and mother, respectively.

Therefore, Faust said that while the government should ensure that those in same-sex partnerships have the right to insurance and inheritance, it should do so “without redefining marriage.” ‘Rainbow Terror’ Student representatives at the rally noted that they — those who support traditional marriage and traditional gender norms — have become a silent majority at their schools due to fears of punishment for speaking up.

Coining the term “rainbow terror” — a reference to Taiwan’s period of White Terror when political dissidents were suppressed following the Feb. 28 Incident — the representatives said they felt pressure at school and online to agree with same-sex marriage and gender fluidity.

Many young people attended the event to “debunk the idea that all young people are in favor of same-sex marriage” and to finally make their voices heard.

High-school representative Wu Han-lin (吳翰霖) pointed to the sex education curriculum at his school, saying that it was too skewed toward non-heteronormative ideas. Lin said that currently, at least 80 percent of the curriculum focused on gender as a spectrum and other non-traditional ideas regarding gender.

Lin asked that there be a balance between traditional and non-traditional ideas in textbooks. “We can respect them, but they should respect our traditional values too,” Lin said.