It’s official. Taiwan is the first place in Asia to perform and legally recognize same-sex marriages. The first such marriages were registered Friday, less than a week after May 17, when the self-ruling island’s legislative body overwhelmingly passed a special bill enabling them. The bill includes a prescription that all the rights and duties Taiwan’s civil code grants to married couples will apply to married same-sex couples. This is a historic victory for the LGBT community in Taiwan.
The path to this new law was not easy — and reveals Taiwanese society’s mixed attitude toward LGBT rights. Here’s what you need to know to understand how these marriages were won and what it means for LGBT rights in Asia.… Seguir leyendo »
En ce cinquième anniversaire de la promulgation de la loi n° 2013-404 ouvrant le mariage aux couples de personnes de même sexe, et à quelques semaines du début des travaux parlementaires sur la révision des lois de bioéthique, une mise en perspective des enjeux politiques s’impose. Celle-ci est d’autant plus importante que, malgré un changement apparent, le même paradigme conservateur hostile au pacs et au mariage pour tous réapparaît sur la scène publique.
Tout d’abord, il ne faut pas oublier que l’objet de la controverse ne fut pas tant le mariage gay que sa principale conséquence : la filiation homoparentale. Il semble nécessaire de rappeler que la production d’arguments contre l’égalité des filiations homoparentales ne provenait pas de la droite réactionnaire mais plutôt de la gauche socialiste.… Seguir leyendo »
Owen Smith, the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, has a plan. He says that if Northern Ireland is to have a sustained period of unwelcome direct rule, he favours putting marriage equality and abortion to referendums so that Westminster can feel empowered to make change happen.
The shadow Northern Ireland secretary is right to want to see progress on both these issues – it is appalling that the people of Northern Ireland do not have the same equal marriage laws or reproductive rights as their fellow citizens in the rest of the United Kingdom. For the avoidance of doubt, our preference would be for the institutions to get back up and running as soon as possible.… Seguir leyendo »
As former Prime Minister Tony Abbott stood in Parliament this week complaining that the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia was somehow being rushed, it represented a moment of profound political defeat for him.
Mr. Abbott has been the most vocal and high-profile opponent of same-sex marriage in the country. In his tenure as prime minister, he tried everything to delay the inevitable, including denying Parliament a vote on the matter before insisting that the public give its opinion on it.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull inherited Mr. Abbott’s plan: a voluntary, nonbinding opinion survey, conducted through the mail. Last month, the survey result revealed what every poll has been screaming for years: a strong public preference in favor of same-sex marriage that hangs around 60 percent.… Seguir leyendo »
Social conservatism, as an international political movement, may have just scored one of its greatest-ever own goals.
Here in Australia — like in many parts of the world — social conservatives have long argued that they speak for the silent majority, for people silenced by “political correctness.” But on gay marriage in Australia, the silent majority was firmly on the side of inclusion. In the coming weeks, the Australian Parliament will finally legislate in favor of same-sex marriage — but only after a process which traumatised many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Australians, sent shock waves through families, and cost a small fortune.… Seguir leyendo »
After years of defending her party’s opposition to same-sex marriage, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stunned many by announcing this week that members of her center-right, governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party would no longer be asked to toe the party line. Instead, she would let parliamentarians vote “according to conscience.”
In the current Bundestag, a conscience vote — without wrangling by the party whip — is widely believed to be an almost certain win for equal marriage. Parliamentarians, including those of the CDU, responded speedily, calling for a vote as early as this Friday.
Why now? Domestic and international politics explain this development.… Seguir leyendo »
Across Western Europe, marriage equality is fast becoming the norm: From Scandinavia through the Netherlands and Denmark; even the Catholic countries of Ireland, France and Spain. But there’s one glaring exception: Germany. It stands out not only because it is the largest country in Western Europe, but also because on many measures, it is among the most progressive.
Germany’s outlier status (it allows “registered partnerships,” but not full marriage) is even more curious because much of the country is in favor. But not its leadership: Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party, the Christian Democratic Union, have stood athwart the Continentwide movement and yelled no.… Seguir leyendo »
«Me sentiría honrada de que asistiese al enlace de Sunny Lee, o de que participase en él en espíritu». Esta es la invitación, en coreano, que me llegó a París el pasado junio. En Corea, una boda es una celebración que puede durar varios días. Sunny Lee, fundadora de una empresa de reciente creación que cuenta con Samsung entre sus clientes, me había invitado con ocho meses de antelación para asegurarse de que asistiría: los surcoreanos valoran el reconocimiento exterior, y la presencia de europeos en una boda es tan fundamental como la de un grupo pop de Corea. Lo que la invitación de Sunny Lee no mencionaba era el nombre del cónyuge, ya que no lo había: Sunny Lee se casaba consigo misma.… Seguir leyendo »
Has the cool pope left the building?
For days after the revelation that Pope Francis met the Kentucky county clerk and anti-gay-marriage activist Kim Davis during his visit to Washington, church officials would neither confirm nor deny that it had happened, allowing Ms. Davis’s claim that the pope “validates” her actions to stand.
Only on Friday did a Vatican spokesman say that the encounter “should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.” Intended to “contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired,” the Vatican statement raised as many questions as it answered.… Seguir leyendo »
Dos recientes sentencias dictadas casi el mismo día por los Tribunales guardianes de la Constitución en Estados Unidos y en España, sobre el matrimonio homosexual y sobre la objeción de conciencia para dispensar la llamada píldora del día después, respectivamente, han puesto sobre la mesa el intrincado debate en torno al papel de los jueces en una democracia. Pese a que progresistas y conservadores las han enjuiciado de manera opuesta, alabando cada uno la que apoya sus tesis y denostando la contraria, en el fondo son muy parecidas: las dos convierten a los jueces en legisladores o, quizás más propiamente, en filósofos-reyes.… Seguir leyendo »
Desde hace algunos años, la sociedad norteamericana discute sobre el significado del matrimonio. El pasado 5 de noviembre tuve la oportunidad de asistir a un debate académico entre dos personas que han reflexionado sobre el asunto. Los contendientes eran un joven investigador, Sherif Girgis, coautor del difundido estudio What is Marriage? (más de 70.000 descargas en la base de datos: Social Science Research Network); y su antiguo profesor Stephen Macedo, filósofo político y autor de numerosas publicaciones en defensa del matrimonio homosexual. Debatían ante un grupo de profesores y estudiantes congregados en el aula McCosh50, una de las más grandes de la Universidad de Princeton.… Seguir leyendo »
¿Hasta qué punto la decisión del Tribunal Supremo de Estados Unidos sobre el matrimonio homosexual va a cambiar nuestros sentimientos respecto a nuestro país y respecto a nosotros mismos?
No puedo generalizar. Pero sí puedo hablar en nombre de un niño de 12 años.Es un chico que destaca entre sus hermanos porque le falta el optimismo que tienen ellos, incluso su facilidad para sonreír. Tiene una melancolía que no poseen los demás. Siempre está pensativo, huraño. Cohibido. Nunca está a gusto consigo mismo. Quizá sea genético, quizá no. Se ha dado cuenta de que lo que le acelera el corazón no son las chicas sino otros chicos, y es una sensación solitaria, aterradora e intensa.… Seguir leyendo »
In a landmark decision, the nine justices of the US Supreme Court ruled that the US Constitution guarantees marriage as a right for all, including gay and lesbian couples. And when the US Supreme Court rules on an interpretation of the US Constitution, that ruling is final.
Although the Supreme Court was divided 5-4 on the issue, this decision is just as legally binding as a unanimous one. In the case of Obergefell v. Hodges (and three related cases) the court found that the US Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. This means that all 50 states will have to allow same-sex marriage, and recognise same-sex marriages entered into in other states.… Seguir leyendo »
With the Supreme Court’s marriage decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges, one might think that equality for gay families has arrived. But that would be a mistake. The court’s ruling could work to produce new conflicts and intensify old ones. The danger arises because marriage equality doesn’t immediately or necessarily erase cultural and legal attachments to biological, dual-gender parenting.
Consider the position of David Blankenhorn, head of the Institute for American Values and star witness in favor of Proposition 8 when California’s gay-marriage ban went on trial in 2010. Back then, Blankenhorn justified such bans based on «[t]he need … to make it as likely as we can, that the biological parents are also the social and legal parents.» In 2012, Blankenhorn announced a change of heart on same-sex marriage, but he still hoped «both gays and straight[s]» could agree that «children born through artificial reproductive technology [have] the right to know and be known by their biological parents.»
Same-sex couples often have children through assisted reproductive technologies.… Seguir leyendo »
More than 20 countries have now legalized same-sex marriage. Ireland’s recent constitutional referendum vote in favor makes Australia look particularly backward in comparison with most other developed, English-speaking countries. Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — though excluding Northern Ireland — have also introduced same-sex marriage.
The majority of American states now have same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision this year that may confirm whether same-sex marriage is constitutionally protected.
So, as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten introduces an amendment to the Marriage Act to legalize same-sex marriage, why has Australia lagged so far behind?… Seguir leyendo »
Next month will mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of the act legalizing marriage between same-sex couples in Spain. My country was the third in the world to take this step, after Belgium and the Netherlands. This month, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage via popular vote.
I know how so many people in Ireland feel right now. When the parliament passed Spain’s same-sex marriage law on June 30, 2005, I said that our country would from that moment on be a fairer place. And I honestly believe that this has been the case.… Seguir leyendo »
Considerable surprise has been expressed around the world about the fact that traditionally conservative and Catholic Ireland approved same-sex marriage in a referendum May 22 by a majority of nearly two to one.
The fact is, Ireland is no longer a Catholic country in the old sense. Much of the state’s urban population is what we call here «cultural Catholics» — that is, they like to have baptisms and funerals in the local Catholic church, but are no longer regular mass-goers.
And the true believers who still make up a sizable portion of the population no longer feel obliged to obey the edicts of the bishops, who last Sunday opposed the «yes» vote from the pulpits.… Seguir leyendo »
The Irish have become the first people in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by referendum. It’s an astonishing statement about the pace of cultural change in a country where more than 80 percent of residents identify as Catholic. It’s also a hopeful development for gays and lesbians in other nations: Countries with strong religious opposition to homosexuality can evolve.
The Irish referendum is notable for another reason: It further erodes the original justification for partition between a Protestant majority in the north and a Catholic majority in the south. In the decade before the island was split in 1920, northern Protestants threatened to take up arms against the British government if it granted Ireland the kind of home-rule powers that many in Scotland now seek.… Seguir leyendo »
On a Sunday in May, a reporter for The Irish Times went looking for religious people who might be expected to oppose same-sex marriage. The issue is a hot topic in Ireland because on Friday the nation votes in a referendum that, if passed, will enshrine marriage equality in the Constitution.
The reporter engaged an older woman after Mass at Dublin’s main Catholic cathedral. “I’m just going to vote for gay people because I have nothing against them,” the woman, Rita O’Connor, told the journalist. “I can’t understand why anybody is against it.” And she dismissed the church’s opposition: “It’s a stupid carry-on.”
Conservatives sometimes say that marriage equality is an elite project, pushed through by courts or parliaments, but popular enthusiasm for the cause is palpable.… Seguir leyendo »
Post-Communist countries can be likened to Western societies operating with a time lag — repeating the same debates that their Western counterparts had some 10 years ago. One such example is Slovakia’s current controversy over gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
Although the institutionalization of gay marriages or child adoptions by same-sex couples hardly figures on the agenda of most political parties, the country has come a long way since its first Gay Pride event in 2010, which was disrupted by neo-Nazi youths. Because it is probably just a matter of time until gay unions and same-sex adoptions become palatable to most Slovaks, opponents of these reforms have launched a pre-emptive assault to make these reforms legally and politically costly.… Seguir leyendo »