In the past 1 1/2 months, other than the shocking news of Donald Trump becoming the next American president, marriage equality was probably the one news that everyone in Taiwan paid most attention to. Watching what’s happening from afar, reading all the news, I have to say I was in disbelief with a lot of the extremely cruel comments.
Setting aside all the verbal discussions/debtates that were caused by the “language” they’ve written the marriage-equality bill with, the religious differences, and the education/parenting principals, the bottom line is , this is a clear case of discrimination. Discrimination as a word is almost taboo in Taiwan, Living in New York, where pretty much every single person has a different cultural background, discrimination is a concept that we’re all familiar with and we don’t cross that line without thinking.
Discrimination doesn’t only happen between groups with different colored skin. It can happen within the same ethnic group just because of the difference in income and living standards. People who have jobs could discriminate people without; male executives could discriminate female executives; residents of upper east side could discriminate residents of bronx. These quickly came to mind, don’t read too much into these examples, though they absolutely exist.
The root of discrimination comes from lack of knowledge. Most people build a life based on what they know or what they’re confident with. When they see someone carry on with a different lifestyle, some people would would ask questions and try to understand. But some people would immediately start drawing boxes and boundaries, creating the right and wrong camps in their mind. Sexual orientation is not something that we could flip or flop with will, people are born with it. I have gay friends and colleagues, they work and live as hard as I do, we share personal stories and desires for love and relationships. If you tell me that because they are gay, therefore they’re only allowed to have relationships in the dark, they should never have the right to put their signatures next to their lovers’ on the same marriage certificate, when asked to fill out a form, they should never be able to write down their lover’s name in that field that says spouse, then I would tell you it’s discrimination. No matter where you are from, you are a person. As long as you are a person, and you don’t deliberately cause harm to others, then you should own the human rights as everyone else does. You should be able to have the right to love and be loved without worries.
I’ve been following all the news for a month, I feel for all the LGBT groups in Taiwan, but I also applaud their courage. I got disappointed in Taiwan reading some writings coming out of the whole event, but I am also excited for “the country that is not recognized by the world” to possibly become the first country in Asia to legalized same-sex marriage. Taiwan, my home country, I’m rooting for you. Pass this bill, let Taiwan shine like it should and be the advanced country that it deserves to be recognized as globally.