President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said on Saturday that the debate over same-sex marriage in Taiwan has moved on from the "conflict" phase to the "dialogue" phase, in the same way as other countries when dealing with divisive issues.
When faced with such issues, citizens often go through a period of conflict before reverting to discussion and finally choosing a path that is more acceptable to everyone, Tsai said at a press conference held on New Year's Eve, when asked what she expects to see in the next legislative session on the issue of same-sex marriage.
"We are in the same situation right now and we are handling this step by step. In the previous stage we saw conflict, but now we are turning to dialogue," Tsai said.
A draft bill that will legalize same-sex marriage and allow married gay couples to adopt children passed its initial screening at the legislative Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee on Dec. 26 amid fierce protest. As the Legislature is now in recess and the new session begins in February, further discussion on the bill is not expected to take place until April or May next year.
If Taiwan legalizes same-sex marriage next year, it is likely to be the first country in Asia to do so.
The president said the Legislative Yuan's handling of the bill has paved the way for broader societal dialogue.
How the issue is handled will "test the sophistication of Taiwanese society" and its ability to accept and deal with the challenges posed by new issues, Tsai said.
"With the overall sophistication of Taiwan's society, I believe we can rationally (handle the issue)," she said.
Meanwhile, Yu Mei-nu (???) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the original proposer of the same-sex marriage bill, who also serves as chairwoman of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, said she will use the winter vacation to communicate with people who are opposed to the bill.
On Saturday, Yu was invited to visit Chi-nan Presbyterian Church in Taipei to discuss the bill with church members.
She called the meeting "a good start" and said she will attend forums held by the Presbyterian Church around Taiwan on the issue. Yu said she expects to encounter strong opposition but believes more dialogue is necessary
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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