The battle in Taiwan over marriage equality continues with another blow to the side for same-sex marriage.
After Taiwan’s Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Code’s definition of marriage being between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, the court told lawmakers to offer gay couples marriage. That said, they never specifically stated how they wanted lawmakers to enact this.
In the two years that lawmakers had to deliberate and stall, conservative groups led by anti-gay Christian mentalities pushed for a referendum and public vote. Unfortunately, that public vote resulted in a majority voting against gay marriage.
Now, politicians have decided how they will navigate these choppy waters to find a solution they think will appease both sides.
According to France24, Taiwanese lawmakers have decided on making a separate law for same-sex unions in order to respect the majority’s vote against updating the Civil Code.
William Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party announced the plan this past Thursday.
"We have to respect public opinion and abide by the referendum outcome. We have to revise a law other than the Civil Code, which is (to enact) a separate law," cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka told reporters.
"As for the characteristic of the separate law and what it will be called… we will propose a bill that reflects and meets public consensus," she added.
The plan was always for lawmakers to either update the Civil Code or create a separate law for gay marriage. That said, it looks like gay unions are now the goal and not marriage. In this vein, this separate marriage law could work much like the UK’s Civil Partnership Act.
No matter what though, everyone involved is concerned with bringing a state of peace on both sides. This is especially true after three gay citizens committed suicide after the referendum vote and a dozen more attempted the act.
"We hope the social turmoil can come to an end soon and cause no more division and harm to any more families," rights group Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan said in a statement.