Legislature to vote on gay marriage bill next week

The legislature will vote on a gay marriage bill at a plenary meeting next Friday, in line with a Constitutional Court ruling on May 24, 2017 that law revisions be made to guarantee same-sex unions within two years. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) announced on May 9 that the legislature will vote on a gay marriage bill at a plenary meeting next Friday, in line with a Constitutional Court ruling on May 24, 2017, that law revisions be made to guarantee same-sex unions within two years.

Su made the announcement following 60-minute-long cross-caucus negotiations.

Three competing draft bills on the issue, put forward respectively by the Executive Yuan, Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) of the opposition Kuomintang, will first be discussed item by item next Tuesday, before deciding which one will be put to the vote, Su said.

On May 24, 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled that articles in the Civil Code which exclude same-sex couples from getting married were unconstitutional and that the relevant authorities must amend or enact laws in accordance with court interpretation No. 748 within two years from the day of the ruling.

However, in a referendum held on Nov. 24 last year, 61 percent of voters supported the introduction of a special law to allow same-sex unions, triggering criticism from same-sex marriage supporters that any such law would be discriminatory.

By Flor Wang and Wang Yang-yu