In the first step of a process likely to last until the middle of this year, Taiwan’s legislative committee approved a same-sex marriage bill late last year.
Now organisers of the bill are optimistic that they have the support of almost half of parliament—from a range of different political parties—as well as the president Tsai Ing-wen.
Yu Mei-nu, the legislator who introduced the marriage equality bill, told the Global Times in an interview at her offices in parliament that she was cautiously optimistic about the bill’s chances chances.
Her most recent tallies show 54 of Taiwan’s 113 legislators backing marriage equality, she said, although “some of them are under pressure so they might flake.”
“We’re almost close to passing it,” she said.
Advocates are rushing to get the bill approved before the 2018 elections, when “every issue becomes politicized,” said Yu.
A previous marriage equality bill failed to pass in 2013. Since then, gay rights groups have lobbied officials and built support.
The story of a gay French professor who committed suicide in Taipei after the death of his longtime Taiwanese partner also went viral last year, spurring support for marriage.