SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

The Struggle for LGBT Rights in Taiwan, A Discussion with Victoria Hsu

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Victoria Hsu 485 186 56
Speaker: Ms Victoria Hsu

Date: 9 June 2016Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 9 June 2016Time: 3:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Seminar

Abstract

The development of LGBT Rights in Taiwan in recent years can be explained in the following aspects:

 1.  Legislative: Two bills proposing marriage equality were raised in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan in 2012 and 2013. The bill proposed in 2013 was drafted by the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR). Victoria Hsu was the principal author of TAPCPR’s bill. This version of the bill aims to give any two people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, equal rights to marriage, as well as to allow same-sex spouses to adopt children. These two bills passed the first reading in the Legislative Yuan, but despite the fact that opinion polls show that more than half of the people of Taiwan support these bills, they continue to be vigorously opposed by several religious organizations.

2. Judicial: The TAPCPR’s legal team maintains that the Civil Code’s prohibition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Therefore, on 20 August 2015, the TAPCPR lawyers led by Victoria Hsu have applied for a constitutional interpretation from the Council of Justices on behalf of Mr. Qiu Jia-Wei. The TAPCPR has also initiated three other administrative lawsuits in connection with marriage equality cases since 2014.

3. Participation in politics by LGBT organizations and organizations opposing LGBT rights: In the 2016 general elections, organizations both supporting and opposing LGBT rights are engaging in the elections as a means toward achieving their desired ends. Victoria Hsu was an openly lesbian candidate of the Green Party/Social Democratic Party alliance, running for the position of legislator-at-large. This is a new situation worth analyzing for Taiwan society.

4. Local Governments: There have been many changes over the past two years among some of the local city and county governments in Taiwan. These include allowing same-sex partners to participate in collective weddings held by city governments, allowing same-sex partners to register with the household registry, and even advocating that same-sex partners have the right to sign surgical consent forms. The Taipei City government has, moreover, petitioned the Council of Justices to issue a constitutional interpretation regarding whether or not same-sex partners can marry.

5. Other: With regard to LGBT rights, Taiwan already has had some achievements and continues to proactively push for further progress. These areas include the laws and policies in connection with the prevention of domestic violence, the Anti-discrimination Laws, the changes to the legal gender, and the implementation of LGBT inclusive education in the curriculum of middle schools and elementary schools.

Speaker's Bio

Victoria Hsu is Co-founder and CEO of Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) which is one of the most important lgbt organizations in Taiwan. Victoria is Attorney-at-Law (admitted in Taiwan in 1999) and PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at Université Paris X (France). She has two Master of Law degrees from the Université Strasbourg III (France) and from National Taipei University (Taiwan). She was also an openly lesbian candidate in Taiwan’s 2016 legislative election.

Victoria Hsu will also be speaking at the Queer Asia Conference at SOAS on 11 June 2016, click here for more information.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: bc18@soas.ac.uk