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).
RTI’s Carlson Wong On the Line features an interview with Prof.Lee Hong-yuan
Taiwan is situated on a crust of earthquake pushing together of the Eurasian and Philippine Sea plates over a very long period of time. The 921 earthquake that hit central Taiwan with a magnitude of 7.3 caused the collapse of 80,000 buildings and 2,400 deaths in 1999. This year’s earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan with a magnitude of 6.4 caused widespread damage and 117deaths. Most of the deaths were caused by a collapsed building in Yongkang Disctrict in Tainan. Prof.Lee Hong-yuan, a professor in the department of civil engineering at National Taiwan University, said, in 2013, he had warned the danger of buildings located in that area once a major earthquake hit.More
45 Taiwanese suspected of involvement of a phone fraud ring in Kenya have been sent to China rather than deported to Taiwan. The move has led Taiwan to lodge a protest with Kenya and China. The Taiwanese government has asked the mainland Chinese government to release the Taiwanese. In early April, Kenya had forcibly deported Taiwanese suspects to China.
Dr.Kennedy Ondieki, an assistant professor at National Chengchi University in Taipei, said the Kenyan government should have sent the Taiwanese back to Taiwan instead of to China, adding that it could have been a case of mistaken identity. Dr.Ondieki used to serve as a court clerk in Kenya for four years.
The detainees were asked by Taiwan’s representative to South Africa, John Chen to resist if the Kenyan police tried to remove them from the detention center as the suspects had been deceived by the Kenyan police saying that they had bought them tickets to Taiwan, but instead, the police had tried to deport them to China. Kenyan police used submachine guns and tear gas to break down the walls of the detention center later. Taiwan’s South African representative John Chen had gone to Kenya to obtain a court injunction that prohibited the Kenyan police to take the Taiwanese suspects away by force, but the Kenyan police ignored the injunction. Dr.Kennedy Ondieki said the police should not have ignored the court injunction but Taiwanese official in Kenya should not have asked the suspects to resist either.
Taiwan has now hired lawyers to file a lawsuit against Kenya’s interior minister and head of police for violations of laws. Taiwan also filed a protest with Kenya’s National Commission on Human rights that had transferred the case to Independent Police Oversight Authority for further investigation.
Ahmet Yeşil is a famous Turkish painter and his painting exhibition in Taipei runs from April 6th to 29th. Yeşil’s works can be seen in private and public collections in Turkey and abroad. His art has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum in Paris every year since 2006. He is a member of the UNICEF International Association of Plastic Arts and International Association of Plastic Arts of the Ankara United Artists and Sculptors. His childhood illness let him wheelchair-bound and that was the time he was encouraged to start his art career. To date, he has opened 105 personal exhibitions and taken part in 297 group and contest exhibitions, Ahmet Yeşil has also won 24 awards in national and international contests. His work spans around 3000 pieces.
Translators: Deputy representative of Turkish Trade Office, Mr.Tolga Gunes and Mr.Tanet KuanMore
The Salvation Army is a global non-profit organization that has been in operation in Taiwan for more than 50 years and it has provided services and assistance to the homeless people and disaster emergency relief to the most vulnerable people in Taiwan.
Bob Lee, the Regional Commander Lieutenant Colonel of Salvation Army Taiwan Regional Headquarters, said currently there are around 5000 officially registered homeless people and the Salvation Army Taiwan provides caring shelter to the homeless adding that in the future, the Salvation Army Taiwan will provide overnight shelter.
One special event that they held at the end of February is CEO Sleepout, a fundraising event inviting business leaders and foreign diplomats to experience what being homeless feels like, sleeping overnight on the floor with a sleeping bag and a sheet of cardboard. The event raised around 1 million Taiwan dollars (USD$300,000).
For more information, please visit https://salvationarmy.org.tw/