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17 Mar 2008

taiwan presidential election candidates discuss same-sex marriage in televised debate

Taiwan will go to the polls this Saturday to elect a successor to Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party who has held office since 2000. Last month, same-sex marriage came up during a televised debate between KMT's Ma Ying-Jeou of and DPP's Frank Hsieh.

Slated to take place on the 22nd of March, Taiwan's presidential election is being closely followed not only for how closely contested it is, but also for its political repercussions in cross-strait relations. Representing the Kuomingtang (KMT) is former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-Jeou (馬英九), while nominee for the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) who supports his party's traditional insistence that Taiwan and China should keep their political separateness.

In a first for the self-governing island, citizens were invited to film and submit questions they would like to ask the two candidates, of which 20 were eventually chosen for the debate, held on February 24. While the country's focus lay on each candidate's respective policies on the economy and relations with China, questions were chosen to represent as many different groups and be as varied in subject as possible.

Below is an excerpt of the debate in which the two candidates were asked to clarify their stances on gay marriage.

Top of page: KMT's Ma Ying-Jeou of and DPP's Frank Hsieh in televised debate on Feb 24, 2008. Above: Zheng Zhi-Wei, secretary general of Taiwan Tonzhi Hotline Association.
Zheng Zhi-Wei of Taiwan Tonzhi Hotline Association: I'm Zheng Zhi-Wei, I live in the Da-An district of Taipei City, and am currently secretary general of the Taiwan Tonzhi Hotline Association. I 'd like to ask both parties' presidential candidates whether or not you would push for same-sex marriage laws during your term, and how would you plan to educate the public to expedite the passing of this bill?

Ma: Hello Mr Zheng. We know that you have been an activist for several years already, and for that we'd like acknowledge your efforts. Precisely because you have been an activist, you would probably be aware that I had allocated public funding for gay rights events throughout all eight years that I have been mayor of Taipei - out of the belief that our sexual orientation is inborn and needs to be both respected and tolerated. We hope to use public spending to help spread this knowledge in order to help everyone understand, tolerate and even accept it. Now, there are two premises at stake here. The first is human rights; everyone naturally has human rights. The second is multi-faceted culture, including that of different sexual orientations. You mentioned the question of gay marriage, which is something that entails a revision of civil laws and also the establishment of a societal consensus. When I dealt with these questions in the past - including the often tense relationship between police and the gay community - my solution has been to arrange for a suitable setting for them to engage in dialogue, to generate understanding and consensus through it, and to slowly effect change through other means. I plan to use the same philosophy in relation to your question. Basically, I am respectful but cautious when it comes to same-sex marriage; I think it more suitable to push for it once we have established societal consensus. Whether in terms of judicial rulings or the establishment of the law, we would do well to reference the experience of more advanced countries when we solve this question in the future. But regardless, respect and tolerance is our basic policy.

Hsieh: What we are discussing today in this debate is a question of law-making policies and not to explain what the situation is like today. We're talking of policy on an even higher level- e.g., whether we want to do this and whether we should allow it. I am very respectful of human rights. I don't think that love should be stopped. The love of homosexuals is still love. Secondly, couples - just like perspectives on marriage - vary widely. Now, this is what we can accept. But just as what Mr Ma just said, our society right now is not openly discussing this issue. Elsewhere, in the United States, there are also only two states with such laws. But rights cannot be waited for, so if people can choose how they love and it is acknowledged to be a right, then we can try and solve their problems first. Questions such as whether you can file taxes together if you have a partner or not, or whether gay relationships can be recognised in cases where the spouse becomes the appointed legal representative. There is also the problem of adoption and bail. These are the problems that we can first resolve step by step.

Debate moderator: Thank you. Mr. Zheng Zhi-Wei, please follow up

Zheng: Thank you for both of your responses, and although I unfortunately did not get a satisfactory answer from either candidate, I would like to follow up. Mr Ma, in your policies you have mentioned that Taiwan wishes to implement the International Bill of Human Rights. Ratifying gay marriage would be both a visionary and concrete step towards that. As for Mr Hsieh, there doesn't seem to be any mention of gay rights in your policy white paper - something we find to be quite disappointing. Both parties have also encountered many incidents of discrimination against gays. After so many such incidents, how do you plan to convince Taiwan's two million gays and their families to vote for you?

Ma: If you live in Taipei, you will probably be aware of what we have been doing for gay rights since I've been elected mayor. I've always been encouraging in helping gays expand their personal freedom and space. I remember telling the cultural minister of Hamburg that we've allocated public spending to help hold gay events when he came to visit one year, to which he said that they did as well. When I asked him when they started, he replied 2000, after which I informed him that we started in 1999. In Asia, Taipei is the freest city to live in if you're gay, but that question you've raised is one that is as yet unsolved anywhere else in the world. Everyone is still trying. When gays still have to fight for basic rights, we should instead solve each problem step by step. Do you remember when the Taipei police used to raid gay venues? Since persuading and communicating with them, this has decreased dramatically - we hope that the police can understand that gays differ only in sexual orientation. Now, only after succeeding with these efforts first can we ensure better success in the future.

Debate moderator: Thank you. We will continue by asking Mr Hsieh to respond.

Hsieh: I've just mentioned that in regards to the freedoms and rights that gays need, some we can give and promote now. But marriage in Taiwan, on the other hand, is tied to culture and family - sometimes it's not a personal affair, so resistance will be greater. We need to form a consensus amongst ourselves first, and that includes between gay groups as well. Now, I think that what our society needs in regards to this question is more open-mindedness, or a tolerant perspective in order to appreciate it. This is what I mean by multicultural symbiosis. A lot of love and families vary in nature, but we keep insisting on a mono-centric perspective, using this to look at and judge others, saying that you have a problem, etc. Our society, beginning with our education, should help foster such tolerance.

For more info about the elections, visit taipeitimes.com


Reader's Comments

1. 2008-03-17 20:00  
Political rhetoric: I've called Taiwan my "home" for nearly 19 years. American-born...I embraced the Taiwanese culture from the first moment I stepped off the plane from New York City to Taipei in 1989. I would NEVER vote for either candidate on the basis of his views on gay-marriage. I WOULD however, vote (if I could) for the man who DID the most to improve the quality of life for everyone regardless of any preferential act or belief or their gender...and intends to continue breaking down barriers of discrimination, mis-trust and hate. Taiwan HAS come a long way in the arena of gay-rights and have made huge strides embracing our queer sub-culture. Relative to the size of the struggling Taiwanese economy, (unlike Singapore) our PINK DOLLARS are important, and they are welcomed. Taiwan is re-inventing itself as a "tourist destination" and this includes PEOPLE LIKE US. If you don't believe me, take your next power weeked trip to Taipei and see for yourselves.
Comment #2 was deleted by its author
3. 2008-03-17 20:13  
I've been to Taipei & one thing that struck me is the openess & easy-going friendliness of (most) of its people. Oh, & the most important part- their women are gorgeous!! ;) In light of this article, I'm seriously thinking of re-locating...umhmmm ...
4. 2008-03-17 21:51  
Taiwan is doing very well in this.

Everywhere around Taipei you can see lesbian couples holding hands (and kissing) in public and now and then gay couples as well. And every young Taiwanese I know says homosexuality isn't taboo and is normal amongst the younger generation!

So that's positive enough I think~~~

5. 2008-03-17 22:22  
same sex marriage...? nothing better to talk about izzit? 2 horny men locked together sure split lah...then what?? messy divorce fights? MEN CAN NEVER KEEP THEMSELVES EXCLUSIVELY TO ONE, with so many men out there, they are spolit for choice.
As long as they can stay together when it's right...OK lah...when NOT right anymore then a verbal break up is enough and then go to the next guy loh...so easy...NO messy break ups.
u all so stupid to want gay marriage. no children...marry for what???? crazy!!!!
6. 2008-03-17 22:59  
JasonTankh, it's about having the same rights as heterosexual couples. We don't need to get married, have a fancy ceremony and obtain that piece of paper. BUT WE DESERVE TO BE EQUAL to everyone else and access the services and entitlements which many take for granted.

7. 2008-03-17 23:15  
How progressive of Taiwan, certain Singapore politicians are still talking about straws in noses...
8. 2008-03-17 23:43  
The local gay community has its own problems because of stereotyping, eg. "men can never keep themselves exclusively to one", "men are just out for fun", etc etc. Such ideas, though not necessarily wrong, doesn't provide support for gay folks who do desire permanence and genuine devotion in their relationship. Gay relationships when supported by family, friends, and society can certainly be nurtured to grow over the couple's lifetime. The fruits of love/marriage need not be children as it can come in other meaningful forms such as community work, adoption, etc.
9. 2008-03-18 05:00  
"out of the belief that our sexual orientation is inborn and needs to be both respected and tolerated"

if you have to 'tolerate' something, by definition you do not respect it.
10. 2008-03-18 09:38  
This is a simple comment to Jason Tankh, Post #4, It's probably true of what you said about gay guys but the comments you made struck me. It's not about sex, breaking up or getting a peice of legal paper. It's all about human rights and equality. Actually, it's you who's STUPID not wanna be treated equally as straight people. You should stay still in the closet as always and if you prefer to be treated differently, by all mean, go for it but please keep your mouth shut. Oh, one more thing, please don't use "lah" or "loh" in English. People might think you're retarded.
Comment #11 was deleted by its author
12. 2008-03-18 14:00  
Mainland China has also 'Considered' the same sex marrige issue. So much for the incompassionate Communist!

Malaysia and Singapore should take a look at their hyprocrisy and backwardness!
13. 2008-03-18 16:04  
I think there is no need for same sex marriage, we only need the benefits of marriage. But what are those benefits (tax bla bla bla??) ..... I really see none.

Do you think having same sex marriage then your parents or relatives will then feel better?? I really don't think so......
14. 2008-03-18 20:26  
same sex marriage...? nothing better to talk about izzit? 2 horny men locked together sure split lah...then what?? messy divorce fights? MEN CAN NEVER KEEP THEMSELVES EXCLUSIVELY TO ONE, with so many men out there, they are spolit for choice. I just know many really gay seeking their romance on it. Umm, right! Who can say no to hot partner?
15. 2008-03-18 22:22  
the world will ask who else would want their rights....teens have sex, devil worshippers have rights...killers....we are a minority and with a coming sense of acceptance we are not harmful, we should not shove it in the world's face and make big demands. The idea of 2 men in love will not last is simple.....the novelty will wear OFF fast....you don't get many lesbian bars, saunas, places for quickie sex cos it's the males that need to plant their seeds...the law of marriage is to tie these straight men down to take care of their behaviours and responsible to bring up the children. Gay men do not get pregnant..besides the legal paper which spells not much benefits...you just want to the world to call you normal...hey..listen...there will always be discrimination be it age, gender, race, religion or class....all this hog wash just tells me how INSECURE you are being gay. How you want to 'straight'..wishing gays are the majority...hwo you probably do NOT like being gay. msiasf is such a dork...waging un needed battles. even retards spit at him.
16. 2008-03-18 23:20  
The issue about gay marriage is not only about being equal with the heteros. There are many implications to marriage, such as estate succession. In a hetero couple situation, if one party leaves no will, his assets will under the laws of intestacy go to his spouse...that is the situation in most jurisdictions. In Taiwan, a married couple can consolidate the filing of their income tax and in that process save tax. In the Singapore context, a married couple will form a "family nucleus" under HDB regulations and accordingly can apply for subsidised apartment and obtain housing grants. But that said, I do not think any society in Asia is ready for gay marriage.

Mr Hsieh's follow up response seems to copy of Mr Ma's first response. Anyway, most of these politicians will say anything just to get the vote first...they do not necessarily keep to their word. That is why current President (Chen, green camp) is such a disappointment. The green camp (Hsieh's) is generally perceived to be very anti-gay. It is true that Mr Ma (blue camp) has done some things for the gay community as Taipei mayor.

There has been a great buzz in the Formosa city in the past few weeks. The anticipation is that Taiwan will enter a new era come March 22 if Mr Ma is elected as President.
17. 2008-03-19 01:10  
Flaky Hunk, you left me a nasty email and blocked me, You're such a fucking coward! Go hide in your closet like you always do. I bet you feel so great yourself being discriminated as a gay man. One of these days, you'll be arrested in the bathhouse In Malaysia and I bet you'd say "I deserve it becuase I'm gay, a minority" . You seriously need to see a shrink for help. That's all I needed to say to you.
Oh, one more thing, Please don't call yourself Hunk. It's a sad lie! Have you been looking at your mirror lately?
18. 2008-03-19 02:03  
Gay Marriage is a matter of basic civil and equal rights. The most important is the equality and dignity of gay couples should be respected. Marriage is not universally an improvement but it generally is. Because of this, it stands to reason that legalized gay marriage will ultimately prove beneficial for gay individuals. This, in turn, will be better for gay couples, the families of gays, and communities where gays live. Perhaps the most important aspect of marriage is theat it establishes a legal and social relationship which makes it easier for people to "be there" for each other- economically, emotionally, and psychologically. Most of the rights and privileges that go with marrige are, in fact, wasy to help spouses support each other. Married couples are thus much better off than unmarried couples, giving relationships the ability to grow stronger and deeper.
In some coutries, people have been fighting so hard just to be treated the same as others. If two people love each other, shouldn't they be allowed the same rights, privileges and responsiblities, no matter their genders? Yet, marriage is so much greater than the commitment of 2 people to each other. MARRIAGE IS AN INSTITUITION THAT MUCH OF OUR CULTURE REVOLVES AROUND. It is also an institution that is in crisis. However, It's impossible for some of those who live in Malaysia and Singapore undestand that we deserve the rights to be treated equally while gay sex is illegal in Malaysia and Singapore, and not to mention races discrimination still exists in Malaysia. So, Before you say something negative about legalizing gay marriage, please find out more beneficial of why gay marriage should be legalized.
19. 2008-03-19 17:25  
msiaf you poor pathetic spinster...you try to make your point and you do not agree with Jason's view...that is fine. But to insult people who has a local slang lah or loh as retard just show what an arrogant bastard you are and that destroys your credibility, you have insulted people of a certain region in South East Asia on how they speak. WHAT EVER YOU POINT OUT NOW ARE A BUNCH OF HOGWASH AS YOU DO LOOK DOWN ON PEOPLE OF A CERTAIN REGION IN THE WORLD...yet you dare speak for rights and equality and respect. You promote gay marriage, he don't and I don't see the need for it BUT to call people here who started fridae.com as retards...you have stepped over the line. You don't respect...you don't want equality...you just proven that by insulting me on a personal level...so I do not want to hear from you and block you, nothing cowardly about that. If you want to be heard...don't throw low blows...we are proud of our culture and we don't like people telling us we are retarded. SO...KINDLY SHOVE YOUR EQUAL RIGHT TRASH...RESPECT AND ALL YOUR CRAP AND STAY IN USA.. with your scum attitude who thinks he is a know it all...you are NOT welcome in South East Asia,...you might think the food we eat is ....or our religion is...or our country's infra structure is....we don't need your high and mighty attitude here. Stay where you are and SHUT UP. You have NO respect for anyone and you don't deserve any..yourself.
20. 2008-03-19 17:38  
oh yes...I love my country and I think my neighboring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Phippines are beautiful countries with their unique blend of culture, food, way of communicating..etc. Singapore is a respectable 1st world country and Thailand has it's delicious spicy food. Malaysia has it's own blend of mix culture etc...we may have some snags in our political mishap...but we ride through our minor turbulances just fine. We are peaceful and progressive and WE DO NOT LIKE TO BE INSULTED by some nobody who cries out for respect, equality...fairness when tsk tsk...you just insulted many at fridae.com if you do not agree with jasontankh's view..be it the way he expressed himself, you could have put your point through..and point your displeasure about his views...not how people here speaks...you just exposed the true person you are...you are not fair, disrespectul, and you are a common snob. Say what you want....I think you need to apologise to the people in South East Asia for mocking us. We are not a society of retards...we do MUCH better than you. I suggest you lay off and do some thinking. You poor pitiful thing!
21. 2008-03-19 19:23  
I agree with what msiasf and alan2008 say about couples having this option. Prior to the change in the law, there were many practical problems in the UK caused by partners not being the legal next of kin, highlighted during the 90s when many gay people in long term relationships got sick and died. For example, from visiting rights in hospital and disagreements with family over funerals, to financial aspects like the survivor having to sell the home you had both lived in to pay the 40% inheritance tax (which straight couples who chose to marry were exempt from). The suffering that these and other problems caused became so apparent, that the law had to change, and eventually it did. And 18,000 couples in long-term relationships tied the knot in the first year. I married my Singaporean partner and my Singaporean parents in law kindly paid for the whole thing out of their love for us both.

It surprises me that no one here has challenged the myth that gay men don't have lasting relationships. 95% of my non-Singaporean gay friends have been in relationships not just for years, but for decades. My most elderly friends, in their eighties, have been together over 60 years; others for 50 years, 40 years, and so on. I've been with my own partner for nearly 20 years. Maybe the younger disco bunnies in Singapore don't get to see much of the many stay-at-home types, and so make their judgements in that context. But in my experience Singapore does seem to be unusual in that most of our friends there, both straight and gay, do seem to have more difficulty than usual finding someone they want to settle down with, even though they say that's what they want. I don't know if it's a general Singapore thing, or it's just the people we happen to know there.

I also know women who say it's a myth that women, gay or straight, are different to men: there is the same wide range of personalities and approaches to sex and relationships in both genders. I've certainly seen enough TV documentaries of lesbian bars and straight girls on holiday in Ibiza to dispel any myths on that score.

We're all just diverse human beings, and whether we want to party or settle down, both are fine, but let's support each others' right to do either.

22. 2008-03-19 23:02  
msiasf got evil eyes n he is ugly shit
23. 2008-03-20 01:18  
I hope you will have soon the same rights as we have in Spain: marriage and adoption without any condition.
Good luck to the taiwanese people in your Election Day.
Greetings from Europe!
24. 2008-03-20 02:14  
FlakyHunk, I was just wondering how you could love your country while you're legally discriminated based on race(well, unless you're a muslim) and sexual orientation. Why do you feel so great about being treated as a second class citizen? The law in Malaysia punishes homosexual acts, and gay places are rioted by police all the time. There're way many gay people are in the closet, so they can feel safe. Yet, you love the country. Do you not fear of being put in jail one day by law simply because you're a homosexual? Aren't you supposed to fight for your own freedom? Aren't you supposed to stand up for yourself? Aren't you supposed to live your life with no fear of who you are? Or You simply believe that's how it should be....because being gay is wrong......then I have nothing left to say to you.......but to wish you luck on being a worthless homosexual!!!
25. 2008-03-20 19:04  
msiasf, you poor poor pitiful imbecile. The law in Malaysia and Singapore do not favor homosexuals ...yet we have gay saunas, gay website like fridae.com which you...yes...you arrogant fart..made a profile in...I do not see the Singapore government clamp down this website?
We know how to deal with the system here. We do NOT stir up the hornet's nest. You don't live here and you want to be so smart as to tell us how to deal with our government, how we speak...oh, if I don't look like some commercial gigolo like you, I am ugly...for your info, there are a handful of men who like my build and not yours. You seem so ARROGANT..ONE track mind, you bull doze your ideas, then you are just as bead as those who condemn us...you are gay and you will go to hell. I am NOT going to hell and neither are all the gays in Singapore or Malaysia going to jail...you think you worth alot when you turn people off with your one track mind, your rigid way of thinking, you do NOT care to understand people in different countries have different culture, system etc...why? Because you have NO respect for anyone. You use force. You insult. And you think people would listen to you..they are pissed off by your presence. The world is big, every region is different...even people in the same country, ...your neighbours don't think like you, they need NOT agree with you or they would go to jail. You don't allow people the freedom to choose what they believe. You should join the terrorist group. You are NO better than them. Remember...one size DOES NOT fit all. You want the people around you to accept you, don't shove your ideas in their face and expect them to swallow it...you will get be PUNCHED in your face...mind you, your little squeek here with that type of presentation will have you thrown in jail. Ooops...might be you going to jail. Of course, you don't apologise when you insult people in other part of the world, you are a small narrow minded little prick. Too proud to say "I am sorry". Just crash your way around. I know you have many people who hates your over bearing tone. Watch out, you might be the first in the gay bashing list. Not might...more like ..most likely. Bash by other gays. Poor msiasf....stay the way you are. I don't like you to care if you realise your mistakes. Don't learn. Stay proud.
Comment #26 was deleted by its author
27. 2008-03-21 06:16  
FlakyHunk, speak for yourself will do..... your words doesn't represent all G&L in Singapore or Malaysia, do put "us" aside. I thank you.
28. 2008-03-21 16:23  
FlakyHunk, i agree with nvms. your opinion does not represent all of us here in malaysia. Just speak for yourself. I think you are blowing this way out of proportion.
29. 2008-03-21 16:50  
caesarean and nvms then u should GO make a stand for gay rights to have Mardi Gras on Singapore's Orchard Rd...and if you are in Malaysia do it around KLCC....bring banners, wear skimpy swim wears, dance on the street...tell Singapore and Malaysia governments you demand for rights to have gay marriage etc etc....GO do it. No one is stopping you. Bring that msiasf along as guest of honour....when you chant and scream on the streets for the newspaper and TV reporters to make headline news about your great step to equality. Oh yes, show off your lean tone body....in tiny swim wears...wiggle yr booties. I am sure they will take you guys seriously.

GO FOR IT. You believe you have the power...good for you.
30. 2008-03-21 17:06  
oh yes....on your banners,...mention your profession..."I am a doctor and I am gay". "Proud to be gay and I am a Bangla worker" "Gay school teacher stands up" "We are here to stay" "Give us what is RIGHTFULLY ours" "I stand with my head held high being gay" "Gay lawyer" Gay taekwondo master" "Gay father out from closet" Lorry driver - GAY"
Get the drag queens to dance a long to Pete Burns and Ru paul hits.....
You lean tone guys must wear shere shorts and tight swim trunks and wiggle to Rihanna's dance hits.
Don't march down for your rights....do a CAT WALK. Glam and style. Show creativity, show style. Make them aware that you not only exist BUT you want what the straight people are having.
If need be...threaten them..."If you don't legalise gay marriage, we will.........you".
Get the lesbians to march along...they march....you gay guys...sashay...hey, you must flaunt your sex appeal. You work so hard to be a pin-up boy...show those nipples, belly buttons and armpits.

Comment #31 was deleted by its author
32. 2008-03-21 21:31  
Sorry about the length of this post, but its worth it, it's hilarious, from the ironic facebook group "gay marriage killed the dinosaurs":

Top 17 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

17. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

16. Gay culture is a new fad created by the liberal media to undermine long-standing traditions. We know this is true because gay sex did not exist in ancient Greece and Rome.

15. There are plenty of straight families looking to adopt, and every unwanted child already has a loving family. This is why foster care does not exist.

14. Conservatives know best how to create strong families. That is why it is not true that Texas and Mississippi have the highest teen birthrates, and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire have the lowest. This is a myth spread by the liberal media.

13. Marriage is a religious institution, defined by churches. This is why atheists do not marry. Christians also never get a divorce.

12. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why our society has no single parents.

11. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

10. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

9. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

8. Gay marriage should be decided by the people and their elected representatives, not the courts. The framers checked the courts, which represent mainstream public opinion, with legislatures created to protect the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Interference by courts in this matter is inappropriate, just as it has been every time the courts have tried to hold back legislatures pushing for civil rights.

7. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because "separate but equal" institutions are a good way to satisfy the demands of uppity minority groups.

5. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

4. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

3. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

2. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.


33. 2008-03-22 01:57  
Every time the issue of same-sex marriage comes up, it inevitably turns into a debate of pros and cons. Those who are opposed to same-sex marriage are quick to ridicule the idea, using lame and laughable stereotypes produced by the heterosexist, patriarchal mass media. Then we also have self-loathing, homophobic, or possibly just brain-dead homos that embrace and perpetuate these stereotypes. They are usually the halfwits that refer to somebody's sexual orientation as a lifestyle; or the ninnies that watch queer as folk, queer eye or those pathetic supermodel shows. Funny how these individuals are always so convinced of their authoritative expertise on ALL men. I'll try to be brief:

1. No one is asking you to get married for pushing for same-sex marriage. What are you so worried about? Birds of a feather flock together, so your experience with men are apparently not going to the same as mine; just don't claim you know all men based on the ones you've met and the ones you tend to attract. In any case, it looks like the possibility that other gay men might want to be with their loved ones for the rest of their lives touches a nerve!

2. This is not about what you think is right or wrong for the gay community. This is about being treated equal, about putting an end to blatant discrimination. What is the difference between the ban on gay marriage and the ban on interracial marriage? I may think that religion is the root of (almost) all evil and would never want anything to do with it, but should the church service ever declare a ban on gay men, you bet i'll be the first one to protest. It is my right as a human being not to be treated differently because of a imaginary, perceived difference created by the biased society.

3. Good for Taiwan! The fact that it's even brought up in a presidential debate is a sign that Taiwan is heading towards the right direction.

4. This Taiwanese doesn't know if he's gonna get married, but he sure wants to meet some eligible bachelors! Send in your applications:)
34. 2008-03-22 11:01  
I think these candidates are similar to most all the other global candidates seeking a position in goverment. They give out 'snippits' to lure the vote and then stall when it comes to taking action, or provide only half-actions just to satisfy their minds they have satisfied their campaign committment.

Governments should pass laws to accellerate and affect change for society--such is one of the purposes of governments.

Stall? I would say so, because afterall, don't these same governments pass laws to pay taxes, which is certainly is not the most popular governmental change management directive affecting society?

In my 59 years I have failed to see a govenment stall on raising taxes as much as they have on the gay rights issue!

Keep up the pressure, Honorable Zheng Zhi-Wei, we need spokesmen like you.
35. 2008-06-27 09:03  
As an American, I am delighted to see that the same-sex marriage debate is happening in Taiwan. I think that same-sex marriage is a critical part of freedom. I do not think that everyone should get married, but the institution exists and is an integral part of societies. As an option the government extends, it should be an option extended to everyone, gay and straight! I hope same-sex marriage will be an option for everyone who lives in a country where it is an option for heterosexuals. Whether to marry is a personal decision. Government should not make that decision for us.

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