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Taipei sees conflicting same-sex marriage protests

TAIPEI--Taipei's Freedom Square lived up to its name Sunday, when groups supporting and opposing legalization of same-sex marriage held separate rallies in support of their respective causes.

Despite their opposite natures, the two groups advocated their respective stances mostly peacefully, though media reports said there were “several incidents of pushing” in the crowded public plaza.

The Taiwan Happy Family Alliance, a group comprised largely of Christian churches, claimed that 20,000 opponents to same-sex marriage showed up to its rally at the square in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Campaigners called for families made up of “one man and one woman; one wife and one husband,” saying it was the recipe for a happy family.

Organizers also urged the “recovery of the father's role and importance in the family” and encouraged families to have more children, warning that otherwise, “happy families could become an endangered species like the panda.”

They were met by supporters of marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, who marched from the Legislative Yuan nearly a kilometer away to call for marriage equality.

The Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, which provides counseling to the local LGBT community, argued that no matter how a family is made up, the pursuit of happiness is a common goal. The group urged the country to accept and protect its “diverse families.”

Gay marriage has been a major topic of discussion since a draft bill that would legalize same-sex marriage passed a first reading of the Legislative Yuan on Dec. 25 last year.

If it passes a third reading, the bill will change all legal references to marriage to be gender-neutral, with terms like “husband and wife” becoming “spouse.”

The bill leaves the rights and obligations of spouses in marriage unchanged.

March 17, 2014    edann77@
Instead of introducing a bill that'll change the existing marriage act, why not enact a new bill that'll provide the same rights and obligations for same sex couples, but called an 'unification act'?!?

This way, the sanctity of traditional marriage is preserved, and gays/lesbians can bind their relationships legally in an unification recognized by the state.
March 17, 2014    miller.henry641@
"...the bill will change all legal references to marriage to be gender-neutral, with terms like “husband and wife” becoming “spouse.”

Control the language and you will control the culture/society.

This is all about control.
March 17, 2014    arhau@
This article is more balanced than last time after December 25th. - Therefore I have established a Link on my FB for friends to read it. But it still fails to mention the serious impact it would have for the society of Taiwan, if the bill after its third reading would be accepted. Also, the article mentions merely the 20,000 bill protesters on the Freedom square without reflecting the broader movement behind it, and misses to mention the almost 700,000 Taiwanese who on an internet site have already strongly refused the whole bill as a complete "legislative failure". Besides, the same-sex demonstrators were only one hundred. This is not unimportant to show the turn of popularity the whole bill has taken in the last several month, despite a high activity of same-sex advertisers at many schools and universities to win support.
There is also awareness from the side of the protestors in the Taipei area about the need to embrace several questions the same-sex demonstrators have with the traditional family concept, and to address them in a better way to prevent them from feeling "excluded". From what I know they are convinced that their problems can not be solved through legal changes, which is one of several reasons why the whole bill in their eyes is "counterproductive for Taiwan."

Kind Regards, Rev. Dr. Alain Haudenschild
March 17, 2014    taylorclint@
* Liberalism is a Mental Disorder
March 19, 2014    miller.henry641@
A very vocal minority attempting to sway the legislative process with a false image.

The vast majority of the population do not support this legislation. It does not mean they are anti-homosexual.
It means they do not want the term "same-sex marriage" to be included in the legal term for marriage. Marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman - this is what Taiwan society wishes to maintain.

It is not to be seen as a rejection of the legal recognition afforded the term "legal union." Taiwan has this and it is recognized by the court/legal system here.

March 19, 2014    edann77@
Gays and lesbians should accept being homosexual is abnormal, whether it's by choice or not. I'll continue to tell my children it's abnormal, but if they want a legal union, I'm okay with that. Call it a union or unification. Just don't shamelessly vocalize something that's abnormal in weird costumes and expect to be treated with acceptance. And don't ram your agenda down other people's throats... don't warp the concept of marriage.

On the other hand, I do not in any way feel threatened by gay people. Weird people, yes. lol... I'm not anti-gay.

Respectfully, Jesus never asked, nor did he tell. Humans are imperfect, and have been confounded.
March 20, 2014    harry.underwood1987@
None of the above recognizes reality. They are disgusted by the mere presence of same-sex couples peacefully embracing each other in public.

edann77 and miller.henry641 would rather that gay couples be "given" minor "unification act" or "legal union" rights in order to "protect" marriage from the gay couples. It's like same-sex couples are dragons to be placated, or mice to be fed crumbs of cheese!

In reality, those who make this suggestion in order to maintain discrimination are hypocrites. If these couples did not protest for recognition of their relationships, people like edann77 and miller.henry641 would be all too happy to think of these couples as "hairdressers", "interior designers" (for straight folks' pleasures), "drag queens" and "prostitutes" (for straight folks' horror at the "weird"), not as real people with real relationships.

That's another reason why I can’t take anti-SSM or anti-LGBT people seriously. #LGBT people are human beings with their own lives!
March 22, 2014    wokenup07@
edann77@ wrote:
Gays and lesbians should accept being homosexual is abnormal, whether it's by choice or not. I'll continue to tell my children it's abnormal, but if they want a legal union, I'm okay with that. Call it a union or unification. Just don't shamelessly vocalize something that's abnormal in weird costumes and expect to be treated with acceptance. And don't ram your agenda down other people's throats... don't warp the concept of marriage.

On the other hand, I do not in any way feel threatened by gay people. Weird people, yes. lol... I'm not anti-gay.

Respectfully, Jesus never asked, nor did he tell. Humans are imperfect, and have been confounded.
There is example after example in nature of homosexuality in animals. These animals didn't choose to be homosexual - they simply are. Why does this happen in nature, but yet it's "abnormal" with humans? There is nothing abnormal about people having a right to choose whom they love. What is abnormal is people judging this, and deciding homosexual couples shouldn't have the same rights as everybody else.
March 25, 2014    edann77@
It's abnormal because humans wouldn't be if everyone is homosexual. And I didn't say homosexuality is normal in nature.

There are asexual species in nature. When they mate, one becomes the child bearer while the other utilizes the male anatomy. This is normal for this type of species. There's a healthy reproduction and survival of this type of animal.

And I've met gay people before, and never have I discriminated against them. It's funny how so many self-professed liberals and/or gay people have an arrogant confidence thinking they're immune from having ignorant and bigoted thoughts.

I've seen stupidity, arrogance, and ignorance on both sides of this argument. It's not about defending or protecting the concept of marriage, it's about finding a compromise that's acceptable to both sides. And I having to make this point shows how arrogant, nasty, and bigoted some gays/liberals really are!
March 25, 2014    edann77@
harry.underwood ~ You make sad and desperate accusations at people you don't anything about. You are a real bigot, equal to the people who have discriminated against you. The only gay people who have made me uncomfortable are the ones who have made physical advances towards me. If a heterosexual male did the same thing, it would be considered sexual harassment.

As I said before, stop trying to ram your agenda down other people's throats.
March 25, 2014    edann77@
wokenup07 ~ Witnessing homosexual behavior in nature, such as primates does not quantify it as being normal. Infanticide, siblicide, and etc occur in nature as well. Does it become normal to you as a human because it's been witnessed in nature? Having many sexual partners is common in nature. Do you support polygamy?

Homosexuality is abnormal in humans. It's different from loving whom you want. Love whomever you wish... it should not threaten anybody else.
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Demonstrators supporting and opposing same sex marriage legalization rally in support of their respective causes at Freedom Square at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, yesterday.

(CNA)

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