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Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada

Ka-n-ti Ti-on Jn-kon Hiap-ho

45 Fontainbleau Drive Toronto Canada M2M 1P1


The Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada believes that the issue of equal
marriage (same-sex marriage) is an important human rights issue in the world today. For
this reason we declare our support for the Equal Marriage Act as proposed by legislators
Teng Li-chun, You Mei-nu , Hsiao Mei-chin et al. This is a reasonable bill, removing
gender reference from the relevant laws, thus permitting same-sex marriage without
inserting other political agendas into the bill.

We call on the conveners of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee,
Liao Cheng-ching and Lu Hsueh-chang, to put this bill on the committee agenda as early
as possible. We urge the Legislative Yuan to promptly pass this bill into law.

We believe that much of the opposition the idea of same sex marriage arises not so
much from principled religious beliefs, as from deep prejudices against homosexuality,
and a culturally-conditioned discomfort to applying the term marriage to any
relationship other than that of one woman and one man. The importance of passing laws
based on human rights is exactly to overcome such prejudices, and ensure equality
under the law, especially for those who are subject to social stigma and discrimination.

International principles of human rights are said to be universal because, while allowing
for varied expression in different cultures, they do not admit to exemptions because of
claimed cultural difference, or, for example, constructs such as Asian values. Today
almost 20 countries have legalized same sex marriage. The prejudices of a majority
cannot be used to deny the human rights of a minority.

At the same time, we respect religious beliefs, and understand the fears of some, though
we believe these are misguided. For this reason we suggest that a clause be added to the
bill guaranteeing that no religious organization, or religious worker (priest, minister or
monastic), shall be required to perform a marriage against the tenets of their religion.

President Michael Stainton and the Executive Board of THRAC

June 20, 2014, Toronto, Canada