Taiwan is one step closer to becoming the first Asian country to legalize same sex marriage. Two draft amendments to the Civil Code aimed at legalizing same sex marriage passed the first reading at the legislature in Taiwan on December 26, 2016. Article 972 of the Civil Code will add the paragraph recognizing “both parties of a same sex marriage. This is an addition to recognizing marriage made by the male and female parties. Another amendment includes the rights and duties of the same sex couples who marry. According to the procedure of the legislature, the bill will be reviewed after April before it is passed as a law after the second and third readings.
The Alliance of Religious Groups for the Love of Families Taiwan made up of multiple religious groups and parents oppose to the amendment and propose a “special law” to for LGBT marriage rights. Conservative religious groups, mostly the Christians, oppose to the amendment.
Victoria Hsu, the president of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) will share with us her views on same sex marriage. Victoria Hsu is a lawyer and a member of the Gender Equality Committee of the Executive Yuan (Taiwan’s Cabinet).
Father Yves Moal, is planning to build a nursing home, called Yi Feng Garden for the elderly physically and mentally challenged people. He is a 74-year-old French priest who has dedicated his whole life to helping the disadvantaged groups in Taiwan since he arrived in Taiwan at the age of 25. The project requires a total of NT$80 million (US$ 2.47 million) and Father Yves Moal said he has raised NT$30 million (US$ 92 thousand) only so far.
Father Yves Moal was awarded Taiwan’s Presidential Culture Award in the humanitarian category in September 2015 for his devotion to the physically and mentally challenged, homeless, orphans and other underprivileged groups in Taiwan.
Apart from fundraising, Father Yves Moal runs a second-hand bookstore and relies on selling furniture made by the residents of St.Andrew Training Center, a center he is in charge of and is now home to around 50 physically and mentally challenged people in Hualien, eastern Taiwan.
For more information about St.Andrew Training Center (in Chinese), please visit https://www.facebook.com/anders/More
The Taiwanese government has developed aquaculture in Saint Lucia by helping local farmers breed fresh water prawns, tilapia and crayfish in ponds and has helped establish a tissue culture lab and two orchid green houses. Saint Lucia now grows more than 40 species of orchids. Aquaculture and agriculture are important to the tourism industry in Saint Lucia.
Bananas are an important export item for Saint Lucia. But since 2010, the banana industry has been threatened by black sigatoka, a banana leaf spot disease that can cut the fruit production in half. Small farmers could not afford expensive measures to fight the disease and the government of Taiwan has then helped farmers in Saint Lucia fight the disease, improve productivity and restore the banana growing capacity.More
Saint Lucia is an island country located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean nation opened an embassy in Taiwan in June 2015, in an effort to strengthen bilateral ties and it is the first embassy of Saint Lucia in the Asia Pacific region. Taiwan and Saint Lucia established diplomatic ties in 2007 and the ambassador of Saint Lucia, Ambassador Hubert Emmanuel said both sides have been working on a wide range of cooperative projects including public health, aquaculture, education, infrastructure and culture.
In the field of public health, Taiwan’s Changhua Christian Hospital established partnership with Saint Jude Hospital in Saint Lucia in 2009 and they have helped train medical staff in Saint Lucia ever since.More
According to Prof.Lee Hong-yuan, a professor in the department of civil engineering at National Taiwan University, currently there are around 6.5 million buildings, older than 30 years in Taiwan and the government needs to demonstrate stronger coordination among different ministries and local governments in order to cope with a future devastating earthquake in Taiwan.
Government statistics show that more than 8.6 million people live in 2.5 million buildings within 10 kilometers of an active fault line and many of these buildings are over 30 years. In early March, the government announced the database of some areas in Taiwan that are prone to soil liquefaction. Soil liquefaction has become an issue of public concern in Taiwan as many believed that it was the main factor that caused the death of 117 people in a major earthquake that hit southern Taiwan in February this year.More