Taiwanese President: Gay marriage debates turned from conflict to dialogue

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This picture taken on November 17, 2016 shows priests from different religious groups holding signs that read "Oppose the draft of equal marriage" during a protest outside the Parliament in Taipei. While support for marriage equality has gained momentum since pro-gay President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in May, so too have resisting voices, revealing a divided society deeply rooted in traditional family values. / AFP / Sam YEH / TO GO WITH Taiwan rights gay marriage politics social, FOCUS by Michelle YUN (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)

President Tsai Ing-wen has recently shared that there is a progress in debates concerning the official recognition of same-sex marriages in his country. He said: “We are in the same situation right now and we are handling this step by step. In the previous stage we saw conflict, but now we are turning to dialogue,” Tsai said. President Tsai Ing-wen said following protests in favour of the bill: “Let’s not treat the people around us as enemies.” There is some opposition to the legislation, however, primarily from Western-inspired fundamentalist church groups, who have some influence in the region. The anti-LGBT Alliance of Religious Groups for the Love of Families Taiwan has vowed to protest the change. The group’s head Chang Shou-yi fumed: “What gay activists want is for their lifestyle to be affirmed by society, but why do they need to change the traditional institution of marriage, which goes back thousands of years?”

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